As a person living with psoriasis, I have been a part of the 50% who were non-compliant. I’ve lived with severe plaque psoriasis for most of my life and many of the treatments available are a nuance. Let’s take topical treatments for instance – Most of these medications require use 1-3 times a day for several months at a time to see a difference. The more a treatment requires my attention the less likely I am to use it correctly. Obviously, I am not alone in these sentiments.
What caused me not to adhere? Here are at least 3 reasons why, can you relate?
Treatment not working fast enough. I tend to lose interest and discipline with topical treatments or a holistic approach because it typically takes these methods a long time to work. If I don’t see a difference with my psoriasis in 3 weeks or so I’m ready to call it quits and try something new.
I forget. Most prescriptions have strict guidelines which can vary from several times a day, to once a week, to once a month. I’ve had treatments which required all the time frames mentioned and remembering to take my meds was a challenge I faced for each one.
I remember having to take birth control every day at the same time. It came to the point where I would have to set an alarm in my phone as a reminder because without it I would forget. Last year I was using a biologic that only required my attention every 3 months. Without that call every 90 days from the doctor reminding me to take my injection I wouldn’t have done it.
Treatment requires too much of my time. As mentioned earlier if a treatment requires use several times a day, I will most likely miss a dose.
Treatment lacked convenience. When I was doing phototherapy as a treatment for my psoriasis, the doctor suggested I come to his office for light treatment 5-6 times a week. Due to gas prices at that time and distance to the physician, sometimes I could only do 3-4 times a week which wasn’t as effective.
It wasn’t a suitable treatment. I’m an African-American woman who deals with scalp psoriasis. Most shampoos prescribed for psoriasis require everyday use or use several times a week. It is not conducive for the health of my curly hair to wash it every day unlike other ethnicities which may wash their hair many times out the week. Additionally, many of the options prescribed dry my hair out tremendously. Thus, shampoos which required everyday use were usually not effective for me because I didn’t use them as prescribed.
Could you relate to any of those reasons?
Well, there is a new app on the horizon that promises to help increase treatment compliance among people living with chronic illnesses. Drugstars, the “new app on the block” is designed to increase patients enthusiasm of taking medications, by providing incentives every time one takes their treatment.
How does it work?
Every time you take your treatment as prescribe you go into the app and reward yourself stars. These stars can be donated through Drugstars to your favorite organization listed in the app and converted to monetary value to the non-profit of your choice (Not for an individual to spend as real money, only donated to organization of choice). One star represents 1 cent. It doesn’t sound like much but it adds up, the site states, “…remember that an average patient takes about 1,000 doses of a medicine per year. And imagine that 1,000,000 other patients do the same, then each star is worth a lot to you and future patients.” There are also other ways to earn stars by reviewing meds, signing up for clinical trials, and referring patients to join the app. I received 50 stars for my very first sign in.
How do you sign up?
Step 1: Download the app, connect through your Facebook or manually log in your info.
Step 2: Register the meds you are currently taking.
Step 3: Every time you take your treatment as prescribe you go into the app and award yourself stars.
Step 4: Donate your stars to the organization of your choice listed in the app.
So far the markers of the app advised they have donated over $75,000 dollars to organizations advocating to help people living with mental illness, cancer, headache disorders, digestive disorders, asthma, diabetes, skin conditions, rheumatic diseases, heart disease, kidney disorders, and more! You can check them out on Instagram to review the most recent contributions. If you don’t immediately see a cause you are passionate about, hold tight, Drugstars promises to add a variety of diseases throughout the year.
Friendly reminders. The app has a feature which allows you to schedule a reminder for the medicine you are taking.
Raising money. Every time you take your medicine and you log it in the app you are raising money for the organization of your choice.
Nothing to lose. It’s absolutely free to participate and it’s helping you to do what you should be doing anyhow, which is properly using your treatment.
Increases compliance. The idea of the app is to help patients use their treatment more consistently by providing incentives for doing so. Ultimately this should increase more positive treatment outcomes.
Improved treatments. The treatment reviews can be given by individuals anonymously. These reviews will be submitted to pharmaceuticals companies which will give them insight to the patient needs and wants, hopefully leading to better and improved treatment options.
Click the image below to sign up or to learn more
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Drugstars. All thoughts and opinions are my own.