A comparison of patient adherence and preference of packaging method for oral anticancer agents using conventional pill bottles versus daily pill boxes
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Adherence to medications is an important issue in oncology due to the increasing number of anticancer agents, such as targeted therapies, formulated for oral dosing. A prospective, crossover design was utilized in which patients on capecitabine were randomly assigned to one of two packaging methods for one cycle, and then switched over to the alternate packaging method in the subsequent cycle. Twenty-five patients were accrued to this study. Adherence rates were similar when using the daily pill boxes (17/21 = 81%) and when using the conventional pill bottles (18/21 = 86%). However, more patients were satisfied with the daily pill boxes (61% versus 11%, P = 0.027), preferred the daily pill boxes (61% versus 17%, P = 0.061), and thought the daily pill boxes were more helpful in reminding them to take their medications (50% versus 11%, P = 0.070). In conclusion, this small pilot study did not demonstrate that the use of daily pill boxes improved patient adherence with capecitabine, but patient satisfaction and preference for this packaging method were greater than for the conventional pill bottles. Further exploration of this intervention in a larger study is warranted.
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