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    Smartphone app directs patients to OTC meds

    Helping consumers better understand over-the-counter (OTC) medications they are taking as well as freeing up pharmacists to consult with patients are the primary goals behind a new smartphone application.

    Medicyne, which launched for free in the iTunes store in February, was developed by Anthony Do, PharmD, founder and CEO of Medicyne Corp. and a part-time pharmacist for Kaiser Permanente in California.

    Anthony DoThe Medicyne app guides users through a series of questions to “screen patients to make sure they are getting the right recommendations” on OTC products. Then, it helps direct them to the right medications, or lets them know if they should ask their healthcare provider for more information. “The information people read on the package is not necessarily what they need and they may be putting ingredients in their body they don’t need,” Do said.

    In addition, retail pharmacists don’t typically have time to fully screen patients. “This app does all the work and weeds out what is good for the current conditions and demographics of the patient,” Do said. “We are not looking to replace the pharmacist; instead, it is an extension of the pharmacist.” Do’s goal is for pharmacists to spend more time consulting with patients taking heart medications, diabetes medications, and other “more critical” medications.

    Christine Blank
    Contributing Editor Christine Blank is a freelance writer based in Florida.

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