Pharmacy World & Science

, Volume 30, Issue 5, pp 503–508 | Cite as

Impact of postal and telephone reminders on pick-up rates of unclaimed e-prescriptions

  • Anders EkedahlEmail author
  • Vivianne Oskarsson
  • Barbro Sundberg
  • Veronica Gustafsson
  • Therese Lundberg
  • Bo Gullberg
Research Article


Objective: To investigate the impact of a reminder (i.e., a mailed letter or short telephone call) from the pharmacy to patients, compared with no reminder in a control group, on the pick-up rates of unclaimed e-prescriptions. Method: Patients, with e-prescriptions transmitted to four large community pharmacies in two counties in northern Sweden and remaining unclaimed after 4 weekdays, were randomised to one of two intervention groups (a mailed reminder or a short telephonic reminder) or a control group. Main outcome measures: Rates of patients’ pick-up of their e-prescriptions at follow-up after about 1, 2 and 3 weeks. Results: Altogether, 320 patients with e-prescriptions, transmitted from March 21 through April 6 and not picked-up or dispensed, were identified and randomised to the study. There were no statistically significant differences in overall pick-up rates between the groups or with respect to gender. However, pick-up rates increased with increasing age. Higher pick-up rates were observed for two subgroups (but only in the mailed reminder group compared with controls)—for cardiovascular drugs to men and for respiratory drugs to adolescents and young adults. Conclusion: A reminder (i.e., a mailed letter or short telephone call) from the pharmacy to the patient had no statistically significant effect on overall pick-up rates of unclaimed e-prescriptions compared with no reminders.


Pick-up rates Primary non-compliance Reminders Unclaimed prescriptions Sweden 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of the staff at the participating pharmacies in Boden, Luleå, Sundsvall and Örnsköldsvik. The authors would like to thank Gunnar Lindberg for comments on earlier versions of the manuscript.

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anders Ekedahl
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Vivianne Oskarsson
    • 3
  • Barbro Sundberg
    • 3
  • Veronica Gustafsson
    • 4
  • Therese Lundberg
    • 3
  • Bo Gullberg
    • 5
  1. 1.R&D DepartmentNational Corporation of Swedish Pharmacies (Apoteket AB)MalmoSweden
  2. 2.School of Pure and Applied Natural SciencesUniversity of KalmarKalmarSweden
  3. 3.National Corporation of Swedish Pharmacies (Apoteket AB)MalmoSweden
  4. 4.Luleå University of TechnologyLuleaSweden
  5. 5.Department of Clinical SciencesLund UniversityMalmoSweden

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