New technologies are emerging to help remind people to take their medications – and one of them actually chirps! GlowCap, made by Vitality Inc. is a cap that fits on most prescription bottles. Inside the cap is a wireless chip that works with a light plug – like a night light. If you forget to take your pill, the light plug pulses orange, and the cap flashes and chirps. Mike Trevino, general manager of Vitality says the caps are scheduled to go on sale in February.

Packaging pills in blister packs, rather than amber-colored vials may also help patients to remember to take their medication. Because blister packs package the pills individually in their own compartment, people may be better able to keep track of their medication schedule. Blister packs with calendar markings for pills are used for some medications currently at Wal-Mart and Kroger. Drug maker Novartis Pharmaceuticals led a study looking at drug adherence by patients using the blister packs as well as pills in bottles. They found that patients using the blister packs refilled their prescriptions five days sooner on average than those patients using bottles – and stayed on their medication 22 days longer. Dr. Hayden Bosworth, a professor of medicine at Duke University is currently working with MeadWestvaco to assess the benefits of blister packs. The company estimates that blister packs cost about three times the price of a pill bottle…   1/8/13

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