Coalition launches anticoagulant educational program

June 12, 2006

The results of three surveys performed by Harris Interactive have led the SOS Rx (Senior Outpatient Medication Safety) Coalition, a project of the National Consumers League, to launch an educational program aimed at improving the use of anticoagulants. The group surveyed 426 patients taking the blood thinners, 109 caregivers looking after these patients, and 101 physicians prescribing the drugs.

Coalition launches anticoagulant educational program

The results of three surveys performed by Harris Interactive have led the SOS Rx (Senior Outpatient Medication Safety) Coalition, a project of the National Consumers League, to launch an educational program aimed at improving the use of anticoagulants. The group surveyed 426 patients taking the blood thinners, 109 caregivers looking after these patients, and 101 physicians prescribing the drugs. The results suggested a serious need for patient education as well as better communication among the providers, caregivers, and patients. A few of the key findings in the patient survey were: the average patient was taking at least seven medications simultaneously, and 50% had four or more coexisting chronic illnesses; 93% of patients on anticoagulants had experienced an adverse drug reaction, and 51% did nothing about it because it was either too difficult to reach the doctor by phone or the doctor never asked them whether they were experiencing ADRs; 21% of patients aren't sure what their INR or PT values should be, and 28% of those who did know what they should be weren't sure what their own values were at their last blood test. The disturbing results to the surveys have prompted NCL to create a Web site- http://www.mybloodthinner.org/-to provide patients, caregivers, and providers with educational materials and other resources in an effort to improve use of the anticoagulants. Results from each of the three surveys can also be found on the NCL Web site.

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