TAKING tablets correctly doesn’t just bring health benefits for patients.

Staying fit and well has a knock-on effect for the National Health Service too, saving millions of pounds in terms of treatments for complications that arise when people don’t keep to prescribed times and doses.

In the case of Type 2 diabetes alone, it’s been estimated that the knock on cost of missed tablets is as much as £500 million.

Mayberry Pharmacy, the Blackwood branch of which was named ‘Pharmacy of the Year’ at the South Wales Argus Health & Care Awards 2020, was the first company in Wales to offer medicines in pouches.

To nominate a health and care hero click here.

These easy-to-open pouches of tablets arrive on a roll, with each one clearly marked with the day and time they need to be taken, making it simple for carers and family members to check everything is in order.

Customers register for the free service with Mayberry Pharmacy, which organises the collection of prescriptions from GP surgeries and free delivery of the pouches.

Owner Paul Mayberry first came across the MediPack system during an exhibition in Germany and became convinced of the need to invest in it during a meeting with the manager of a care agency.

“It’s quite well-used in Europe but not here,” says Paul, who was raised in Blackwood and opened his first shop in Pontypool in 1994.

“When I described it to a care manager she told me it was the answer to her prayers.

South Wales Argus:
“Often, taking medications can be confusing, especially for people living with dementia and similar conditions.

“We want to help people take their medication at the right time; we know that in the UK, 50 per cent of people don’t take their tablets as prescribed, and that this percentage increases with age.

“Taking the right medication at the right time is not only better for the patient seeking to control a condition, but in the long run it’s cheaper for the NHS too.”

MediPack involves the use of robotic technology to dispense doses of tablets into each pouch, with an optical checker ensuring accuracy.

Overseeing the MediPack system is a number of pharmacists. At the beginning of the pandemic they were issued with personal protective equipment (PPE) and organised into early and late teams in an effort to reduce the risk of the virus rendering the entire group unable to work, which would have had dire consequences for customers.

The MediPack system has proved so popular that Mayberry Pharmacy saw a 70 per cent increase in the number of prescriptions it processed on behalf of customers using its seven branches last year. The company also offers the service to the rest of the UK through its ‘PillTime’ operation.

Mayberry Pharmacy has won a number of awards and is continually seeking to improve, with pharmacists now providing more clinical services to patients, including flu clinics, ‘stop smoking’ teams and advice regarding common ailments. Some have even trained to become independent prescribers.

“We’re working hard to take the pressure off GP surgeries and the NHS as a whole,” says Paul.

Nomination forms for the South Wales Argus health and care awards can be found at www.southwalesargus.co.uk/awards/healthandcareawards