Pill Pouch is plankton in the sea of healthcare but this family-owned Detroit, Michigan-based and made business, was nominated as one of five finalists at this year’s 2015 Eye For Pharma "Most Valuable Patient Initiative" in Philadelphia, PA on April 8, 2015. The other finalists (“the Whales”) were mega pharmaceuticals Roche, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Novartis and UCB. Although the Pill Pouch family didn’t win, their story and the Pill Pouch were an audience favorite. The winner was Novartis for their Helio App, “a lifestyle and disease management app.”
In 2008, Kathi Sitek and her 90 year old mother Stella came up with a daily companion, formed out of a tissue box, to help Stella gain confidence in her medication and assist her when taking them daily. Stella’s confidence grew, she stayed healthy and out of the emergency room.
In fighting chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension, pharmaceuticals are one important part of maintaining health and quality of life. And for the medications to be effective, taking them as prescribed is a significant part of the battle (adherence). Individuals can forget or misunderstand; they can become overwhelmed, intimidated, or disorganized. Because of these challenges, it is important to meet the individual where he or she is with the information that is relevant in a usable way.
Patient centricity was the talk of this year’s conference and the Pill Pouch’s special recognition was due to its focus on patient adherence to their medication that grew out of Kathi and Stella’s story. Together they were able to change Stella’s relationship to and confidence in her medication, thus improving her adherence and keeping her out of the ER.
The Pill Pouch is such a companion. It is an accessible tool that facilitates conversation with medical professionals, coordinates care with family, friends and medical community, and strengthens an individual’s understanding of and confidence in taking his or her medication as prescribed. This Pill Pouch is low cost, simple and a durable update to the original tissue box version. This simplicity, with a pocket for each sample of medication (visual) and the information about each medication, serves as an accessible daily guide to fight chronic conditions, stay healthy and maintain control over one’s health.
Although the Pill Pouch did not win, the recognition among such whales of competition is an affirmation that even their story, a seeming drop in the ocean, can have a meaningful impact in healthcare.
Eye For Pharma http://www.eyeforpharma.com/philadelphia/awards-finalists.php