Almost four million Australians have a form of arthritis that complicates how they live their lives every day. By 2030, it’s projected there will be 5.4 million Australians living with the condition.
Treatments vary depending on disease type and severity, but medication to relieve pain is commonly used and sought. However, there are many barriers to taking medication consistently and safely. One barrier that’s often overlooked is the ability of the patient to easily open medication packaging.
Many people who take multiple medications, such as those with arthritis, already use medication management tools, such as a Webster-pak®, to help them adhere to their regimens. But if they have arthritis, they may find the packaging difficult to open and it can compromise their regular access to pain-relieving medication.
Medication expert and the inventor of the Webster-pak, Gerard Stevens AM, understood these challenges when he invented two devices to specifically help people with dexterity issues, such as people with arthritis.
‘Medication requires secure and safe storage so the materials used to perfectly seal them into blister packs need to be of high and robust quality,’ he said.
‘But people can sometimes have trouble pushing through a blister pack to access pills due to the build-up of pressure within the plastic blister itself.
‘We went about improving this situation and developed a simple innovation, called a concertina blister, that reduces that pressure. Now all Webstercare medication tools such as the Webster-pak are easier to open because of this innovation.’
Unfortunately, in some cases extra frailty, pain or severe dexterity issues can hamper access even further. For such people, Mr Stevens developed the Pil-Bob® – a simple device that’s easy and intuitive to use. It’s been designed to make the removal of medication from Webster-pak® systems even easier and more hygienic.
‘When I first conceived the idea of the Pil-Bob®, I gave my first prototype to my late mother, who was using a Webster-pak, and asked her what she thought it was for.
‘Without prompting, she punctured the blister with the serrated tongue, wiggled it and let the pills drop into the cup. It’s now used around the world,’ he said.
Gerard Stevens says the Pil-Bob® is ideal for individuals who suffer from arthritis, as well as those with poor eyesight or dexterity. It’s also suitable for carers who need to help people administer medication.
To learn more about the Pil-Bob invention and other Webstercare medication systems, visit: www.webstercare.com.au.