Care provider

The importance of appropriate use of medicines

Appropriate use of medicines is key to optimizing the efficacy of a pharmaceutical treatment and limiting its side effects and complications. In general 30-40% of all medicines are not taken appropriately or not taken at all. Approximately 10% of the annual healthcare expenditure is spent on pharmaceutical therapies. About a third of that expenditure is wasted or is not used to its full potential. Additional costs arise due to unnecessary disease progression and side effects. Billions can be saved by improving appropriate use of medicines, and even more when costs related to loss of productivity are taken into account.

The patient information leaflet is often difficult to understand
Appropriate use of medicines begins with good patient education. The patient information leaflet is made available for each registered medicine. It is a standardized source of information about medicines which is quality assured by national regulatory bodies. A large study conducted in assignment by the Ministry of Health shows that the patient information leaflet is the most trusted and most often consulted source of information about medicines. However, research also shows that only 25% of people can answer questions about the patient information leaflet correctly. This is most likely explained by the fact that, for reasons other than patient education, the leaflet needs to be comprehensive, making it difficult to read for many people, especially people with limited health literacy skills.

Care providers can refer patients to Watchyourmeds

Watchyourmeds is currently available for over 95% of all newly prescribed medicines in the primary care setting of the Netherlands, and for approximately 80% of all medicines. The videos are shown in a web portal that can be customized to the care provider. The web portal can be used as a standalone application, but can also easily be connected to existing applications or e-health tools that are already being used by the care provider or patient. The patient may also download the Watchyourmeds mobile app to view the videos.

User benefits
Watchyourmeds optimizes knowledge transfer about medicines for most people, but especially for people with limited health literacy skills, by providing audiovisual information containing easy to understand spoken language, in different languages, and by offering personalized information.
User experience data shows that 97% of people find Watchyourmeds easy to understand. A similar percentage of people feel they have enough knowledge to use their medicine with confidence, and 89% intend to use Watchyourmeds again in the future.

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