NACDS launches campaign to promote medication safety

June 3, 2002

nacds launches pharmacy care index to aid patient compliance

 

NEWSBREAKS
MAJOR STORIES FOR PHARMACISTS AT DEADLINE

NACDS launches campaign to promote medication safety

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is launching a campaign to help consumers learn how to take their medications safely and effectively and use their pharmacists as a valuable resource to achieve the best outcome from their drug therapy.

With a click of their mouse, consumers will be able to easily access the Pharmacy Care Index, an on-line interactive questionnaire. Consumers will be able to access the quiz at www.nacds.org and via a separate Web address, which will be announced later this month. Web site names being tested include rxiq, rxsmart, and scriptsafe.

Through the self-test, consumers can learn whether they are using medications appropriately and what they can do to maximize their drug therapy. They can also learn what role their pharmacist plays in helping them achieve the best outcome from their drug therapy.

Commenting on its new consumer Web initiative, Susan Guiterman, senior v.p./communications and external affairs, NACDS, said, "We have put together the gold standard of what consumers need to know to take their medications safely and effectively—to tell them what questions they should be asking their pharmacist and what actions they should be taking to make sure they get the most out of their drug therapy. We are trying to get consumers to focus on the need to take their medications as directed and to talk to the pharmacist about side effects and other medications they are taking, including OTCs and supplements."

NACDS conducted a national benchmark study this past November in which more than 1,000 consumers took the Pharmacy Care Index by telephone.

A sampling of the 16 questions in the Pharmacy Care Index questionnaire include:

  • How often do you take your medication exactly as instructed by your doctor and pharmacists?

  • How often do you read the written information about your prescription medications?

  • How aware are you that pharmacists:

—Need to know your complete medication history when filling an Rx?

—Check your prescriptions for potentially harmful interactions with other medications you may be taking before filling your Rxs?

The average score was 57.7 out of a possible 100. People age 35 and younger scored the lowest; women age 35 to 54 scored the highest. White women and African-American women scored higher than their male counterparts. Hispanics scored poorly as a group. "It let us know we are on the right track, and we really need to reach out not only to consumers overall, but also to specific demographic groups," said Guiterman.

NACDS will provide drugstore chains with artwork to help them develop support materials to promote the program in October to coincide with "Talk about Prescriptions" month.

The Pharmacy Care Index education effort will run for three years and will be touted in a consumer marketing campaign. The index may be linked to Web sites of retail chains, women's magazines, TV networks, and hospital health information sites.

Sandra Levy

 

Sandra Levy. NACDS launches campaign to promote medication safety. Drug Topics 2002;11:12.