WASHINGTON — The National Consumers League and the U.S. surgeon general are launching a new campaign to educate patients about the risks of not properly taking their medications, the organization said.
Surgeon general Regina Benjamin and the NCL have launched the Script Your Future campaign, a multiyear campaign that will include free text message reminders, sample questions, medication lists and charts to keep track of medicines and fact sheets on such common chronic conditions as diabetes, asthma and high blood pressure. The campaign also includes a website, at Scriptyourfuture.org.
“There are many different reasons why people don’t take their medicine as directed, from concerns about side effects to the out-of-pocket costs of prescriptions,” NCL executive director Sally Greenberg said. “But the consequences for those patients are the same. Nonadherence puts patients, especially those with chronic conditions, at risk for serious complications.” About three-fourths of patients in the United States don’t adhere to their medication therapies, costing the healthcare system $290 billion per year.
“Our national challenge is to prevent poor health outcomes and to become a healthy and fit nation,” Benjamin said. “One way is for the healthcare community and patients to come together to address the serious issue of medication nonadherence.”
The new campaign also was commended by the National Community Pharmacists Association, which noted that patient adherence can be improved through the help of pharmacists.
"It [was] important to support the National Consumers League’s Script Your Future campaign ... to engage the private sector in identifying solutions to improve medication adherence," NCPA EVP and CEO Douglas Hoey said. “We need to make sure the government recognizes the positive contributions independent community pharmacists can provide as clinically trained medication experts when implementing coordinated care models. We need to see a greater embrace of these types of policies across the public and private sectors, and will work tirelessly to make that happen.”