US20070295635A1 - Method And Rack With Medication-Related Information - Google Patents

Method And Rack With Medication-Related Information Download PDF

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Publication number
US20070295635A1
US20070295635A1 US11/425,965 US42596506A US2007295635A1 US 20070295635 A1 US20070295635 A1 US 20070295635A1 US 42596506 A US42596506 A US 42596506A US 2007295635 A1 US2007295635 A1 US 2007295635A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
medication
rack
related information
chart
containers
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
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US11/425,965
Inventor
Maria Lourdes Rivero
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Rivero Maria Lourdes
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Maria Lourdes Rivero
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Application filed by Maria Lourdes Rivero filed Critical Maria Lourdes Rivero
Priority to US11/425,965 priority Critical patent/US20070295635A1/en
Publication of US20070295635A1 publication Critical patent/US20070295635A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09FDISPLAYING; ADVERTISING; SIGNS; LABELS OR NAME-PLATES; SEALS
    • G09F3/00Labels, tag tickets, or similar identification or indication means; Seals; Postage or like stamps
    • G09F3/08Fastening or securing by means not forming part of the material of the label itself
    • G09F3/18Casings, frames or enclosures for labels
    • G09F3/20Casings, frames or enclosures for labels for adjustable, removable, or interchangeable labels
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61JCONTAINERS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR MEDICAL OR PHARMACEUTICAL PURPOSES; DEVICES OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR BRINGING PHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCTS INTO PARTICULAR PHYSICAL OR ADMINISTERING FORMS; DEVICES FOR ADMINISTERING FOOD OR MEDICINES ORALLY; BABY COMFORTERS; DEVICES FOR RECEIVING SPITTLE
    • A61J7/00Devices for administering medicines orally, e.g. spoons; Pill counting devices; Arrangements for time indication or reminder for taking medicine
    • A61J7/0069Trays for holding or distributing medicines
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61JCONTAINERS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR MEDICAL OR PHARMACEUTICAL PURPOSES; DEVICES OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR BRINGING PHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCTS INTO PARTICULAR PHYSICAL OR ADMINISTERING FORMS; DEVICES FOR ADMINISTERING FOOD OR MEDICINES ORALLY; BABY COMFORTERS; DEVICES FOR RECEIVING SPITTLE
    • A61J7/00Devices for administering medicines orally, e.g. spoons; Pill counting devices; Arrangements for time indication or reminder for taking medicine
    • A61J7/04Arrangements for time indication or reminder for taking medicine, e.g. programmed dispensers

Abstract

According to the preferred embodiment, a rack (10) is provided to stock medication containers (16). The medication rack (10) has a base (12) and a perpendicular partition (14) that splits the base (12) by the middle. On both sides of the base (12), a plurality of cavities (15) that match the bottom portion of medication containers (16) are provided for pegging the containers (16) into a position. A paper chart (30) is further provided, including imprinted indicia and medication-related information (31). The chart (30) folds in half and drapes over the partition (14), covering both sides of the partition (14). A clear cover (18), made of a material such as clear plastic, is positioned over the chart (30). The cover (18) matches the contour of the partition (14), and snaps into the base (12) of the rack (10). The indicia and medication-related information (31) of the chart (30) is visible through the clear cover (18) so that indicia and medication-related information (17) of the container (16) can be matched and confirmed with the indicia and medication-related information (31) of the chart (30) when the containers (16) are placed into the cavities (15), in order to help to facilitate a user's ability to confirm what medications to take and what medications not to take out of the medications which are accessible to the user.

Description

    COPYRIGHT NOTICE
  • A portion of the disclosure of this patent document contains material which is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection regarding the facsimile reproduction, by anyone, of the patent document or the patent disclosure, as it appears in patent files or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright rights whatsoever.
  • CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • This application is related to co-pending application APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR FACILITATING MEDICATION-RELATED INFORMATION, filed on the same date as the present application, and naming Maria Lourdes Rivero as inventor, the application incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
  • BACKGROUND
  • 1. Field of Invention
  • This invention relates to the health care field, specifically to a medication rack and method for the purpose of facilitating a user's ability to confirm what medications to take and what medications not to take out of the medications which are accessible to the user.
  • 2. Description of Prior Art
  • Often times, users of medications struggle with the issue of understanding how to take them properly. The elderly and those with low literacy represent two groups that can have problems assimilating what medications to take. For example, when a physician changes a particular user's old prescription medication, the physician will generally instruct the user to discontinue the old medication, and will give the user a prescription for a new medication. Accordingly, the user will have the new prescription filled at a pharmacy, and subsequently carry the new prescription medication to his/her place of residence. A problem may arise when there remains a medication container with a portion of the old prescription medication in the user's residence, along with containers of other medications that the user may be taking, and then the user becomes confused trying to identify which medication to discontinue and which medications to continue to take. In some cases, for example, the user may in err end-up consuming both the new prescription medication as well as the old prescription medication. Or the user may discontinue the wrong medication. All accessible medications, including discontinued medications as well as those medications that may have been prescribed for other residents of the user's household, represent a possible source of confusion for certain users.
  • Any consequential errors can cause serious health consequences for users. Accordingly, various inventions have been developed to attempt to address the issue of proper medication consumption.
  • It is well known that conventional pill boxes are available in various shapes and forms, through many drug stores. Additionally, modified pill boxes can provide an incremental degree of benefit.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 4,693,371 to Malpass shows a pill box with an inner cover and fill cavity for each type of medication, and time of day. In preparing the device for use, a pharmacist or other person will open the inner cover and fill each cavity with an example of the appropriate dosage of medication corresponding to the time of day during which the medication should be taken. Thus, at the start of each day, the patient or other person will pull the appropriate dose of daily medication out of conventional medication containers, and place it in corresponding cavities to match the example within the inner cover of Malpass' pill box. Although Malpass' invention reduces the possibility of error in the case of certain consistent medications, errors are still possible because, depending on the manufacturer, the same medication may come in different shapes, colors, and sizes, particularly when dealing with generic prescription medications.
  • In general, there are significant disadvantages associated with currently available pill box art. The user of a currently available pill box may be incapable of properly navigating the medication labels in order to match the information on the labels with the information on the pill box. Thus, the user may be unable to stock the pill box. In those cases, a pharmacist or other person must undertake the laborious, and therefore relatively inefficient, process of stocking the medications into the numerous compartments that most pillboxes have in common. Confusion and errors during the process of filling conventional pill boxes can lead to potentially serious consequences for patients. Importantly, it is well known that when patients are confused about medications or when patients experience side effects due to errors related to their medication intake, they are less likely to be compliant.
  • Conventional medication charts, which list the user's medications as well as medication instructions, help to clarify what medications to take and what medications not to take, but are too abstract for certain users, such as the elderly and those with low literacy. Moreover, a medication chart does nothing to organize the various medication containers that a user may be employing.
  • Electronic apparatuses of various structures and functions have been developed to address the issue of proper medication consumption. However, these apparatuses are relatively costly and necessitate maintenance.
  • OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES
  • Accordingly, the objects and advantages of the current invention are:
      • (a) to provide a medication rack and method that will help to facilitate a user's ability to assimilate what medications to take and what medications not to take out of the medications which are accessible to him/her, and
      • (b) to provide a medication rack and method that will help to facilitate a user's ability to discontinue a medication when directed to do so, and
      • (c) to provide a medication rack and method that includes indicia and medication-related information according to co-pending application APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR FACILITATING MEDICATION-RELATED INFORMATION, and
      • (d) to provide a medication rack and method which can be effectively and efficiently dispensed, especially at any point wherein medications are dispensed to users.
  • Further objects and advantages will become apparent upon further study of the balance of this application.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • According to the preferred embodiment, a rack is provided to stock medication containers. The medication rack has a base and a perpendicular partition that splits the base by the middle. On both sides of the base, a plurality of cavities that match the bottom portion of the medication containers are provided for pegging the containers into a position. A paper chart is further provided, including imprinted indicia and medication-related information pertaining to the medications that a particular user consumes. The chart folds in half and drapes over the partition, covering both sides of the partition. A clear cover, made out of a material such as clear plastic, is subsequently positioned over the chart. The cover matches the contour of the partition, and snaps into the base of the rack. The indicia and medication-related information of the chart is visible through the clear cover so that indicia and medication-related information of the container can be matched with the indicia and medication-related information of the rack, when the containers are pegged into position within the cavities, therefore, helping to facilitate a user's ability to confirm what medications should be consumed.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is an exploded isometric view of the rack of the preferred embodiment.
  • FIG. 2 is an exploded isometric view of an alternative embodiment.
  • FIG. 3 is an exploded isometric view of another alternative embodiment.
  • FIG. 4 is an exploded isometric view of another alternative embodiment.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • According to the preferred embodiment, FIG. 1 illustrates a rack 10 which is preferably rectangular. Rack 10 includes a base 12. The width of base 12 accommodates two rows of medication containers 16, and a partition 14. An integral peripheral edge 13 is about 10 mm. in height and extends throughout all four sides of base 12, supporting base 12. Partition 14 is integral with base 12, and is perpendicular to and splits base 12 by the middle and into two equal sides. On both sides of base 12, a plurality of cavities 15 that are integral and level with base 12 are provided. Cavities 15 are indented about 3 mm. from edge 13, and are sized and shaped, in other words structured, to accommodate medication containers 16. Accordingly, cavities 15 are generally square, and about 10 mm. deep. Cavities 15 are preferably spaced close together in order to accommodate as many containers 16 as possible, and are parallel to partition 14. The length of rack 10 matches the length of partition 14. The length of partition 14 preferably approximates the length (largest dimension) of a standard size sheet of paper (for example, 8½×11, or A4). Therefore, rack 10 will preferably include four or five cavities 15 per row. However, rack 10 alternatives can be designed to accommodate additional, as well as fewer containers 16, depending on such factors as the medicinal needs of certain users, and specific environmental size constraints for rack 10 (such as a medicine cabinet). The height of partition 14 is about ½ the width (the smallest dimension) of a standard sheet of paper. At the top, partition 14 has a rounded edge 21 that is about 1 mm. in diameter. Rounded edge 21 widens downwards to a bottom portion 25 that is about 15 mm. wide. End walls 20 are located on both sides of partition 14, joining and closing the ends of partition 14. A slot 24 is located about 1 mm. away from partition 14, at about the center of both bottom long sides 26 of partition 14. Rack 10 is preferably hollow, and constructed of injection molded plastic, about 3 mm. in thickness.
  • Referring again to FIG. 1, a clear cover 18 is preferably made out of a rigid clear plastic sheet-like material, with a thickness of about 3 mm. Cover 18 is structured to match and to cover partition 14, thereby sandwiching a chart 30. Integral with cover 18 are two tabs 22, each one located at about the center of each of two long peripheries 23 of cover 18. Tab 22 is sized and shaped to mate with slot 24 of base 12, in order to prevent cover 18 from sliding about partition 14.
  • Referring again to FIG. 1, chart 30 is made out of paper. Chart 30 is comprised of a standard size sheet folded by the middle into a side “A” 28, and a side “B” 29, so that a fold line 27 is parallel to a long side 34 of the sheet (for example, the 11 inch side of an 8½″×11″ is the long side). (For the purpose of the present invention, a standard size sheet is comprised of 8½″×11, 8½″×14″, A4, or similar standard size. For the purpose of the present invention, a standard size sheet is further defined as a standard sheet based on general size, and not by way of exact standard dimensions. For example, a standard size 8½″×11″ sheet is comprised of a sheet of any size that, for practical purposes such as printing and binding, can be employed as a standard size 8½″×11″ sheet). Chart 30 includes indicia and medication-related information 31, as per co-pending application APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR FACILITATING MEDICATION-RELATED INFORMATION, and chart 30 is the medium through which indicia and medication-related information 31 attaches to rack 10. Indicia and medication-related information 31 is custom-made, in other words, based on the medicinal needs of a specific user. The indicia and medication-related information 31 is preferably imprinted on chart 30 within a pictorial representation 35 of medication container 16. Pictorial representations 35 of medication containers 16, including the indicia and medication-related information 31, are imprinted on chart 30, preferably in a straight row, with the bottom 36 of the pictorial representations 35 of a label 19 close to the long side 34 of chart 30. In situations wherein the user is consuming more medications than the number of containers that can be pegged into one single row of cavities 15, chart 30 is then imprinted on both sides “A” 28 and “B” 29, so that both rows of cavities 15 can be employed. The pictorial representations 35 of medication containers 16, including indicia and medication-related information 31, are imprinted with spacing and positioning so that the user or other person can align containers 16 with the corresponding pictorial representations 35 of containers 16, including indicia and medication-related information 31, when containers 16 are placed into cavities 15. Therefore, the spacing of the pictorial representations 35 of medication containers 16 on chart 30, including indicia and medication-related information 31, is coordinated with the spacing of cavities 15 on base 12, for the purpose of alignment. The indicia and medication-related information 31 is produced through imprinting, preferably by employing any form of word processing and mechanical printing method, such as a computer and printer.
  • Referring again to FIG. 1, medication container 16 is preferably conventional, preferably of the four flat-side type. Container 16 includes label 19, preferably of conventional pharmacy grade. Upon label 19 is imprinted indicia and medication-related information 17, as per co-pending application APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR FACILITATING MEDICATION-RELATED INFORMATION. Container 16 also includes another separate conventional label with conventional pharmacy/medication information, as conventionally done, or the conventional pharmacy/medication information can be included within a fold-around label 19.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates alternative medication rack 40. Rack 40 is similar to rack 10, with a key exception in that a base 41 excludes the cavities 15 of rack 10, and base 41 has no other structure for pegging containers 16 into base 41. Base 41 is structured to accommodate preferably one row of at least two medication containers 16, and also a chart 42. However, base 41 can be designed to accommodate additional, as well as fewer, containers 16, depending upon the needs of the users. Base 41 includes a bottom member 48, and a frontal wall 44 which is integrally located about the periphery of bottom member 48, measuring about 10 mm in height. A rear wall 46 is about 30 mm. in height, and is also integrally located about the opposite periphery of bottom 48. Two side walls 47, integrally located about the periphery of bottom 48, are tapered to link to walls 44 and 46. Rack 40 is preferably constructed of injection molded plastic, about 3 mm. thick.
  • Referring again to rack 40, as illustrated on FIG. 2, chart 42 is made out of a sheet-like material, such as paper. Chart 42 is slightly smaller in size than bottom 48, in order to easily fit within walls 44, 46, and 47. Chart 42 includes conventional medication-related information 50 that is custom-made, in other words, based on the medicinal needs of a specific user. The medication-related information 50 that is produced by imprinting onto chart 42 includes at least the name of at least one medication. Conventional pharmacy-grade fonts are preferably employed for imprinting medication-related information 50. The medication-related information 50 is preferably imprinted on chart 40 by employing any form of word processing and mechanical printing method, such as a computer and printer.
  • Referring again to FIG. 2, medication container 16 includes conventional pharmacy/medication information, as conventionally done, imprinted on a conventional pharmacy-grade label 49.
  • FIG. 3 illustrates alternative medication rack 52. Rack 52 is similar to rack 10, with key exceptions in that rack 52 includes a separate base 56 and wall 58, and excludes a sheet-like chart. Base 56 includes a top member 54, and integral edge 13 provided all around the periphery of top member 54. Base 56 is structured to accommodate at least two containers 16. A single row of at least two cavities 15 is provided as structure for sustaining the at least two containers 16. Base 56 further includes slots 57, which are integral with and extend inwards through edge 13, and are sized and located to accommodate pegs 59.
  • Referring again to FIG. 3, wall 58 is about 40 mm. high, includes face panel 61, and integral edge 13 which is provided all around the periphery of wall 58. Wall 58 also includes integral pegs 59 which are sized and located for removably attaching wall 58 to base 56, through slots 57. Rack 52 includes conventional medication-related information 50 that is custom-made, based on the medicinal needs of a specific user. The medication-related information 50 includes at least the name of at least one medication and is produced by employing adhesive-backed vinyl letters 62 to attach to wall 58, as the medium. Like rack 10, rack 52 is preferably constructed of injection molded plastic, about 3 mm. thick.
  • Referring again to FIG. 3, medication container 16 includes conventional pharmacy/medication information, as conventionally done, imprinted on a conventional pharmacy-grade label 49.
  • FIG. 4 illustrates another alternative embodiment which includes a few similarities relating to rack 10, with a key exception in that a rack 64 excludes a base, such as base 56 of rack 52, for sustaining containers 16. Instead, a base 66 of rack 64 is structured only to support a wall 67. Wall 67 is preferably similar in structure to partition 14, and preferably integral with and generally perpendicular to base 66. Like rack 10, rack 64 is preferably constructed of injection molded plastic, about 3 mm. thick.
  • Referring again to FIG. 4, chart 68 is preferably comprised of a standard size sheet. Chart 68 includes conventional medication-related information 50 that is custom-made, based on the medicinal needs of a specific user. The custom-made medication information 50 comprises the name of at least one medication. The medication-related information 50 is preferably imprinted on chart 40 by employing any form of word processor and mechanical printing method, such as a computer and printer.
  • Referring again to FIG. 4, medication container 16 includes conventional pharmacy/medication information, as conventionally done, imprinted on a conventional pharmacy-grade label 49.
  • OPERATION OF THE INVENTION
  • The operation of the preferred embodiment, as depicted in FIG. 1, involves situations wherein a decision is made to provide help to a user of medications so that the user's ability to assimilate what medications to take and what medications not to take, out of the medications that are accessible to the user, will be facilitated, in other words improved. The decision can be consummated by a physician, pharmacist, or other person, such as a medical insurance plan administrator, or by the patient himself/herself. Rack 10 is preferably partially produced by a plastic products manufacturer, and shipped to a pharmacy or other place for further production, and distribution to the user. The person distributing rack 10, preferably a pharmacist, will have access to the current medications that the user is consuming, or a record listing thereof. Accordingly, the pharmacist or other person will further the production of rack 10 by imprinting a custom-made chart 30, including indicia and medication-related information 31 as per co-pending application APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR FACILITATING MEDICATION-RELATED INFORMATION, based on the medications that the user is currently consuming. Thus, the indicia and medication-related information 31 imprinted on chart 30 will include pictorial and worded representation of the user's current medications. The indicia and medication-related information 31 is preferably imprinted on chart 30 within a pictorial representation 35 of medication container 16. The indicia and medication-related information 31 will be imprinted on chart 30 with spacing and positioning so that, when chart 30 is attached to partition 14 of rack 10, each of the pictorial representations 35 of medication container 16, including the indicia and medication-related information 31, will align with a single cavity 15. Therefore, each of the user's medication containers 16 will align with the corresponding indicia and medication-related information 31, when containers 16 are correspondingly stocked into rack 10. For example, a user's container 16 with a medication “X”, and the indicia and medication-related information 17 representative of the medication “X”, corresponds to the portion of chart 30 that contains the indicia and medication-related information 31 representative of medication “X”. Therefore, the indicia and medication-related information 31 will be imprinted on chart 30 so that the container 16 that contains medication “X” can be aligned, in other words placed into the cavity 15 that is directly in front of the portion of chart 30 that contains the indicia and medication-related information 31 representative of medication “X”. Likewise, if the user is to also consume a medication “Z”, the indicia and medication-related information 31 representative of medication “Z” will be imprinted on chart 30, perhaps alongside of the indicia and medication-related information 31 representative of medication “X”, so that the container 16 that contains medication “Z” can be placed in the cavity 15 that is aligned with the indicia and medication-related information 31 representative of medication “Z”. The indicia and medication-related information 31 of a plurality of medication containers 16 can be imprinted on chart 30 in any formal or informal sequence. For example, the sequence can be formally based on the names of the user's medications, by alphabetical order. In situations wherein the user is consuming a plurality of medications, a plurality of corresponding pictorial representations 35, including indicia and medication-related information 31, will be imprinted on both sides of chart 30, again, preferably in a straight row, with the bottoms 36 of the pictorial representations 35 of container 16 parallel to each long side 34 of chart 30.
  • Referring again to FIG. 1, once the indicia and medication-related information 31 is imprinted on chart 30, the pharmacist or other person will fold chart 30 by about the middle, paralleling the fold line 27 to the long side 34 of the standard sheet so that the indicia and medication-related information 31 displays to the outside of the sheet. The pharmacist or other person will then attach chart 30 to rack 10 by draping chart 30 over partition 14, covering most of partition 14, so that indicia and medication-related information 31 will display with the bottoms 36 of the pictorial representation 35 of containers 16 of indicia and medication-related information 31 facing downwards, therefore to be able to align with the corresponding containers 16 that will be stocked into cavities 15 of rack 10. Because the lengths of base 12, partition 14, and chart 30 generally match, the pictorial representations 35 of medication containers 16, including indicia and medication-related information 31, will automatically align with cavities 15 of base 12. The structure of partition 14 (the narrow rounded edge 21 on top, and wider bottom portion 25) eases the accommodation of chart 30 over partition 14, and also helps the visual display of chart 30. Next, the user or other person will place cover 18 over chart 30, pushing tabs 22 of cover 18 into slots 24 of base 12, and sandwiching chart 30 between cover 18 and partition 14. Whenever the user's medication regiment is altered by a physician or other person, a new chart 30 reflecting the change will preferably be produced, and attached to rack 10, preferably following the same steps as listed above.
  • Referring again to FIG. 1, the pharmacist or other person will attach label 19 to container 16, including indicia and medication-related information 17, as per co-pending application APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR FACILITATING MEDICATION-RELATED INFORMATION. The pharmacist or other person will also attach preferably another separate conventional label with conventional pharmacy/medication information, as conventionally done. The pharmacist or other person will then select each container 16 with medication-related information 17 that corresponds with the indicia and medication-related information 31 of rack 10, and then place the selected container 16 into the corresponding cavity 15 of base 12, automatically aligning the selected container 16 with the corresponding indicia and medication-related information 31. The pharmacist or other person will then distribute rack 10, preferably fully stocked with the medications that the user consumes, to the user.
  • Referring again to FIG. 1, the user's ability to assimilate, in other words to confirm what medications to take and what medications not to take out of the medications that are accessible to the user, will be facilitated. For example, in a situation wherein a medication “Y” that is available to a user is to be taken by the user, as ordered by a physician, the user will be able to confirm that medication “Y” is in fact to be consumed because indicia and medication-related information 31 of the user's current medications will be included in rack 10. In other words, the chart 30 that is attached to rack 10 will include indicia and medication-related information 31 representative of medication “Y”, alerting the user to consume medication “Y”, and to include the container 16 with medication “Y” in the user's rack 10. In a situation wherein a discontinued medication “X” is available to the user because the user did not, in err, discard medication “X” when informed by the user's physician that it was to be discontinued, and medication “X” is still accessible to the user, then the user will be less likely to erroneously consume medication “X” because indicia and medication-related information 31 of the user's current medications will be included in rack 10. Accordingly, rack 10 will exclude indicia and medication-related information 31 relating to medication “X”, therefore alerting the user not to consume medication “X”, and not to place the container 16 which contains medication “X” into rack 10. Therefore, in subsequent employment, the user will be able to confirm that medication “X” is not to be consumed, since it will not be included in rack 10. In another situation wherein a medication “Z” is to be consumed by a user but the user does not have medication “Z” available to him/her, then the user will be able to confirm that medication “Z” is in fact to be consumed, and that medication “Z” should be procured because indicia and medication-related information 31 of the user's current medications will be included in rack 10. Accordingly, rack 10 will include indicia and medication-related information 31 about medication “Z”, showing that a container 16 with medication “Z” is missing. Therefore, the user's ability to efficiently maintain medication rack 10 with only those medications that the user needs to consume will be facilitated. Even in a setting wherein there are medications available for a plurality of medication users, such as a home with a plurality of users, the user of medications employing rack 10 will be able to access his/her medications efficiently stored within rack 10.
  • As depicted in FIG. 2, the operation of alternative embodiment rack 40 is similar to that of rack 10 with several exceptions. One exception is that rack 40 excludes partition 14. The user or other person positions chart 42 into base 41. Chart 42 may be folded and/or cut as needed to fit into base 41. A further exception is that base 41 of rack 40 excludes cavities 15. A single row of containers 16 are positioned, by the user or other person, into base 41 and over chart 42, wherein walls 44, 46, and 47 help to retain containers 16 within rack 40. Like rack 10, custom-made medication-related information 50 of rack 40 will be imprinted onto chart 42 in the same manner as chart 30, reflecting the medications that the user is consuming. Medication-related information 50 includes spacing and positioning so that, when chart 42 is positioned into base 41, each of the user's medication containers 16 will be able to align with the corresponding medication-related information 50, when containers 16 are positioned into rack 40, and on top of chart 42.
  • Referring again to FIG. 2, the pharmacist or other person will imprint conventional medication information onto label 49, and attach label 49 onto containers 16. Containers 16 will then be stocked into rack 40 by the pharmacist or other person. The pharmacist or other person will then distribute rack 40, preferably fully stocked with the medications that the user consumes, to the user.
  • Referring again to FIG. 2, the ability of the user of rack 40 to assimilate what medications to take and what medications not to take out of the medications that are accessible to the user will be facilitated, in a similar manner as with rack 10. The primary exception is that chart 42 will be under containers 16. Therefore, the user will need to lift each container 16 from rack 40 in order to view the corresponding medication-related information 50 of chart 42. Additionally, because there are no cavities 15 or other mechanical members to cause containers 16 to automatically align with the corresponding medication-related information 50 of chart 42, the user will need to manually align containers 16 with the corresponding medication-related information 50. The user will also need care so as to maintain containers 16 from sliding or falling out of alignment with the corresponding medication-related information 50.
  • Referring to FIG. 3, the operation of alternative embodiment rack 52 is similar to that of rack 10 with several exceptions. The first exception is that rack 52 includes only one row of cavities 15, and wall 58 is removably attached to base 56. Another exception is that rack 52 excludes the sheet-like charts of the present invention. The pharmacist or other person will preferably detach wall 58 from base 56 to make it easier to attach medication-related information 60 to wall 58 of rack 52 by employing adhesive-backed vinyl letters 62 as the medium. Custom-made medication-related information 60 will be spaced and positioned in the same manner as indicia and medication-related information 31 is spaced and positioned on rack 10. In other words, medication-related information 60 will be attached to rack 52 with spacing and positioning so that each of the user's medication containers 16 will align with the corresponding medication-related information 60 when containers 16 are placed into cavities 15. Therefore, the spacing of medication-related information 60 on wall 58 is coordinated with the spacing of cavities 15 on base 56. After attaching medication-related information 60 to wall 58, wall 58 will be reattached to base 56.
  • The pharmacist or other person will imprint conventional medication information onto label 49, and attach label 49 onto containers 16. Containers 16 will then be stocked into rack 52 by the pharmacist or other person. The pharmacist or other person will then distribute rack 52, preferably fully stocked with the medications that the user consumes, to the user.
  • The ability of the user of rack 52 to assimilate what medications to take and what medications not to take out of the medications that are accessible to the user will be facilitated, in a similar manner as with rack 10.
  • As depicted in FIG. 4, rack 64 includes a few operational similarities relating to rack 10, with a key difference in that rack 64 excludes a base. A single row of containers 16 are situated, by the user or other person, on top of the same surface-top (such as a table) that rack 64 is placed upon, close to rack 64, and in alignment with the corresponding conventional medication-related information 50 of chart 68. Like rack 10, custom-made conventional medication-related information 50 will be imprinted onto chart 68 in the same manner as chart 30, reflecting the medications that the user is consuming, and including spacing and positioning so that each of the user's medication containers 16 will align with the corresponding medication-related information 50 of chart 68, when containers 16 are properly situated on top of the same surface-top as rack 64. To attach chart 68 to rack 64, the pharmacist or other person folds chart 68 by the middle, in the same manner that chart 30 is folded. Then the installer drapes chart 68 over wall 67, and employs adhesive tape, or similar, to sustain chart 68 in place.
  • The pharmacist or other person will imprint conventional medication information onto label 49, and attach label 49 onto containers 16.
  • The ability of the user of rack 64 to assimilate what medications to take and what medications not to take out of the medications that are accessible to the user will be facilitated. However, whereas the more efficient rack 10 is intended to store only those medications that the user needs to consume, rack 64 excludes structure for container 16 storage. Therefore, the user will need to realign containers 16 with rack 64 every time rack 64 is moved, and also take care that medications which are not intended for the user do not get mixed-up with the user's medications.
  • CONCLUSION, RAMIFICATIONS, AND SCOPE OF INVENTION
  • Thus, the reader will note that the medication rack and method of the present invention will enhance the user's ability to assimilate what medications to take and what medications not to take out of the medications that are accessible to the user. And because the racks of the present invention are preferably simple in structure and are preferably constructed of injection molded plastic, the cost involved in production is relatively low, especially when a chart of the present invention is produced using a conventional printer and paper. Additionally, the size and manner of production of the medication racks of the present invention make them efficient and effective for distribution at any point wherein medications are distributed to users, such as a pharmacy.
  • While the above description contains much specificity, these should not be construed as limitations on the scope of the invention, but rather as exemplifications of one preferred embodiment and various alternative embodiments thereof. Many other variations are possible without departing from the scope of the present invention. For example, within the scope of the present invention, racks are included wherein the indicia and/or medication-related information of the present invention can be attached to the racks by employing any permanently attached or removably attached medium. More specifically, indicia and/or medication-related information included in the present invention can attach to racks included in the present invention by imprinting on a sheet-like material, such as paper, which is then glued-on to the rack, in the form of one of the charts of the current invention, or mechanically attached to the rack, in a manner similar to cover 18. Another medium involves the indicia and/or medication-related information of the present invention being removably attached to a rack of the present invention by employing adhesive-backed vinyl letters, or the indicia and/or medication-related information of the present invention can be silk-screened onto the rack of the present invention, or hand-written with a marker.
  • Within the scope of the present invention, racks are included encompassing any structure, provided that the racks: include structure for sustaining at least two medication containers 16; include structure for sustaining indicia and/or medication-related information of the present invention in any medium; include structure for sustaining the indicia and/or medication-related information of the present invention so that the at least two medication containers 16 can be aligned with the corresponding indicia and/or medication-related information of the present invention when the medication containers 16 are placed into the rack of the present invention; and/or include structure for sustaining the at least two medication containers 16 so that the at least two containers 16 can align with the corresponding indicia and/or medication-related information of the present invention.
  • Within the scope of the present invention, alignment is accomplished in any possible manner. Accordingly, racks are included within the scope of the present invention, which are structured so that the at least two medication containers 16 can be aligned with the corresponding medication-related information of the rack of the present invention when the medication containers 16 are placed into the rack of the present invention, or the medication-related information of the present invention is produced so that the at least two medication containers 16 can be aligned with the corresponding medication-related information of the rack of the present invention when the medication containers 16 are placed into the rack of the present invention, or a coordinated combination thereof.
  • Within the scope of the present invention, charts, indicia and/or medication-related information are included encompassing any medium, any information/graphic/indicia/identification format, and conveying to a user of medications only those medications which the user must consume.
  • Within the scope of the present invention, medication containers of the present invention are included wherein the medication-related information of the present invention includes any type of information/graphic/indicia/identification format which will identify the medication contained within the medication container.
  • Within the scope of the present invention, charts are included which are made of standard size paper; however, they can be made of any other sheet-like material, and of any size.
  • Within the scope of the present invention, racks are included wherein the member, or members, for sustaining the medium of the medication-related information of the rack of the present invention can be permanently attached to the racks of the present invention, for example, molded into the rack. Or the member can be removable.
  • Although the racks of the present invention are structured to sustain at least two medication containers, charts are included within the scope of the present invention wherein the indicia and/or medication-related information of the present invention can be comprised of indicia and/or medication-related information of the present invention for only one medication, or only one container. For example, one possible such situation involves a decision made by a physician or other person that a new chart reflecting a temporary medication change should be produced, in relation to a user who is consuming only two medications. Temporary medication changes can occur in situations wherein a user may temporarily discontinue taking one medication, for example, when one of two medications is temporarily discontinued due to an impending medical procedure.
  • The production step of the racks of the present invention comprising the production of the indicia and/or medication-related information of the present invention is preferably done at any point wherein medications are dispensed to medication users, such as at a neighborhood pharmacy, or delivered from, or in third party association with, a mail order pharmacy. However, the production of the indicia and/or medication-related information of the present invention can take place in another setting.
  • Any medication container of any structure, and for any type of medication, for example, including ointments and nasal sprays, is within the scope of the current invention.
  • Any combination of any of the members of the present invention, including the racks, charts, medication-related information, and the indicia is within the scope of the present invention.
  • Accordingly, the scope of the invention should be determined not by the embodiments noted, but by the appended claims and their legal equivalents.

Claims (20)

1. A rack for at least two medication containers, wherein the improvement includes:
(a) said rack sized and shaped for sustaining custom-made medication-related information so that said at least two medication containers can align with corresponding said custom-made medication-related information, and
(b) means for attaching said custom-made medication-related information for said rack to said rack so that said medication containers can align with corresponding said custom-made medication-related information when said medication containers are situated close to said rack,
whereby a user of said medications will be able to align said medication containers with said corresponding custom-made medication-related information on said rack, thereby referring to said custom-made medication-related information attached to said rack for help in facilitating his/her ability to confirm what medications to take and what medications not to take out of the medications which are accessible to said user.
2. The rack of claim 1 wherein said custom-made medication-related information for said rack is comprised of the indicia and medication-related information according to co-pending patent application APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR FACILITATING MEDICATION-RELATED INFORMATION.
3. The rack of claim 1 wherein said means to attach said custom-made medication-related information to said rack is comprised of a chart made of a sheet-like material.
4. The rack of claim 3 wherein said chart is comprised of a standard size sheet.
5. The rack of claim 1 wherein said rack includes a base with a partition which substantially splits said base by the middle and into two sides, said base including structure for accommodating at least two containers on both sides of said base, said partition substantially sized to accommodate a chart made of a sheet-like material which is draped over said partition, said chart sandwiched by a clear plastic cover which is substantially shaped in the form of said partition, said cover made of a clear sheet-like material.
6. The rack of claim 1 wherein said rack includes structure for sustaining said at least two medication containers.
7. The rack of claim 6 wherein said rack is structured for sustaining said at least two medication containers so that said at least two medication containers will automatically align with said corresponding custom-made medication-related information when said containers are placed into said rack.
8. A method for helping a user of medications to confirm what medications should be taken and what medications should not be taken out of the medications that are accessible to said user, wherein the improvement includes:
(a) producing custom-made medication-related information for a rack, said custom-made medication-related information spaced and positioned so that at least two medication containers can be aligned with corresponding said custom-made medication-related information, when said custom-made medication-related information is attached to said rack and when said medication containers are situated about said rack, and
(b) attaching said custom-made medication-related information for said rack to said
(c) rack, said rack sized and configured for sustaining said custom-made medication-related information, and also configured so that said at least two medication containers can align with said corresponding custom-made medication-related information of said rack,
whereby a user of said medications will be able to align said medication containers with said corresponding custom-made medication-related information on said rack, thereby referring to said custom-made medication-related information attached to said rack for help in facilitating his/her ability to confirm what medications to take and what medications not to take out of the medications which are accessible to said user.
9. The method of claim 8 wherein said custom-made medication-related information for said at least one container, and said medication-related information for said rack are comprised of the indicia and medication-related information according to co-pending patent application APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR FACILITATING MEDICATION-RELATED INFORMATION.
10. The method of claim 8 wherein said custom-made medication-related information attaches to said rack by means of a chart, said chart comprised of a sheet-like material.
11. The rack of claim 10 wherein said chart is comprised of a standard size sheet.
12. The method of claim 8 wherein said rack includes a base with a partition which substantially splits said base by the middle and into two sides, said base including structure for accommodating at least two containers on both sides of said base, said partition substantially sized to accommodate a chart made of a sheet-like material which is draped over said partition, said chart sandwiched by a clear plastic cover which is substantially shaped in the form of said partition, said cover made of a clear sheet-like material.
13. The method of claim 8 wherein said rack includes structure for sustaining said at least two medication containers.
14. The method of claim 8 wherein said rack is sized and shaped for sustaining said at least two medication containers so that said at least two medication containers will automatically align with coordinated said
corresponding custom-made medication-related information when said containers are placed into said rack.
15. A medications chart made of a sheet-like material, wherein the improvement includes:
(a) said chart including custom-made medication-related information, said custom-made medication-related information based on the medications that a user takes, and
(b) said medication-related information spaced and positioned so that at least two medication containers can align with corresponding said custom-made medication-related information when said medication containers are situated close to said chart,
whereby a user of said medications will be able to situate said medication containers close to said chart's corresponding custom-made medication-related information, thereby referring to said custom-made medication-related information on said chart for help in facilitating his/her ability to confirm what medications to take and what medications not to take out of the medications which are accessible to said user.
16. The chart of claim 15 wherein said chart is comprised of a standard size sheet.
17. The chart of claim 15 wherein said medication-related information for said chart is comprised of the indicia and medication-related information according to co-pending patent application APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR FACILITATING MEDICATION-RELATED INFORMATION.
18. The chart of claim 15 wherein said chart folds substantially in half and drapes over a partition, said partition substantially sized to accommodate said chart, said partition splits a base by the middle and into two sides, said two sides including structure for accommodating at least two containers on each of said two sides of said base, said chart sandwiched by a clear plastic cover which is substantially shaped in the form of said partition, said cover made of a clear sheet-like material.
19. The chart of claim 15 wherein said chart is attached to a rack, said rack including structure for sustaining said at least two medication containers.
20. The chart of claim 19 wherein said medication-related information is coordinated with said structure for sustaining said at least two containers so that said at least two containers and said corresponding medication-related information will align when said containers are placed into said rack.
US11/425,965 2006-06-22 2006-06-22 Method And Rack With Medication-Related Information Abandoned US20070295635A1 (en)

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