The article in Pharmaceutical Technology’s 40th Anniversary print edition addresses the prevalent issue of medication non-adherence, and how pharmaceutical packaging aims to improve it. The story highlights different stakeholders utilizing innovative approaches to enhance adherence results for oral solid medications and other therapies. Moses Zonana, CEO of adherence technology solutions leader Compliance Meds Technologies, is featured to illustrate the capabilities of their best in class integrated platform that combats the prevalent pharmaceutical problem.

Since 1993, 50% of prescriptions are not being taken as prescribed1,2. There are several factors that affect lack of medication adherence, such as patient’s financial situations. If they can’t afford to continue the medication, the prescription goes unfilled. However, non-adherence is mainly unintentional and can be quickly addressed. Several decades worth of effort have gone to design packaging that aids people to take their medication at the right time with the proper dosing.

The impact of medication adherence has been heavily documented in the healthcare industry for many years. Experts have been relentless in trying to find ways on how to improve patient behavior, and in turn, patient outcomes. Graham Reynolds, VP and General Manager of Global Biologics at West, explains: “Non-adherence has significant financial consequences. The patient ends up in the hospital or back in the hospital and puts additional strain on the healthcare system. From a pharmaceutical company perspective, non-adherence is widely recognized as a cause for a significant loss of revenue; a number recently estimated at $600 billion.”

To improve adherence, many compliance packaging designs have been introduced. Even with the variety, no one single solution is the answer to solve the issue. As a result, there’s been a growing interest in a more comprehensive approach that integrates interactive devices, software, and personalized support.

An example of this approach is the medication management tools from Compliance Meds Technologies (CMT), which can be tailored to the needs of various settings such as senior care, addiction treatment, and clinical trials. Tools include the CleverCap LITE; the CleverCap PRO; an optional mobile app called Companion App CMT; and secure, cloud-based reporting/analytics portals. The devices are distributed through the pharmacy, incorporated into existing medication vials/bottles, shipped directly to enrolled patients, or given out by a participating doctor.

Moses Zonana, founder and CEO of CMT, described how the integrated technology works. “The CleverCap PRO … detects when a pill is dispensed and can control the dose, ensuring the patient receives the right dose at the right time. The information is automatically transmitted through cellular 3G networks into the CMT Reporting, Analytics, and Engagement System. Devices can generate visual and sound alerts at predefined timeframes or operate under silent mode. The CleverCap LITE does everything the CleverCap PRO does except it doesn’t actually track at the individual pill level of granularity or control dosage. It tracks when the vial/bottle is accessed or is not properly reclosed to provide an extra layer of security.

“We have observed regimen adherence levels of 95% using CleverCap PRO and regimen adherence levels of 96% using CleverCap LITE. In the majority of our programs, there is an intervention layer in addition to the technology layer, which allows us to obtain those types of successful results. These interventions may incorporate nurse support groups and incentives for better medication habits.”


1 H. Forcinio, Pharm. Tech. 17 (3) 44 (1993).

2 National Council of Patient Education and Information, Accelerating Progress in Prescription Medicine Adherence: The Adherence Action Agenda (Oct. 2013).

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