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Last Updated
October 16, 2014
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October 16, 2014
October is “Talk About Your Medicines” Month – Let’s Get In Sync
This October and beyond, as a key focus of our 29th annual “Talk About Your Medicines”
Month,  NCPIE is partnering with longtime member, the American Pharmacists Association Foundation,
on the launch of a comprehensive consumer education campaign encouraging patients and caregivers
to explore opportunities to engage with pharmacists providing ongoing medication counseling and
medication synchronization (sync) services by making multiple medicine refills available at the
same time each month or other designated timeframe.

Medication synchronization is achieved by using a new patient care service called the Appointment
Based Model (ABM) which is designed to improve patients’ adherence to medications and build
efficiencies in pharmacy operations. When utilizing ABM, Pharmacists and pharmacy staff are able to 
perform a regularly scheduled review of all medications each month, which provides the opportunity to 
identify therapeutic and adherence issues that patients may be encountering. Research is demonstrating 
that this model is helping to achieve better health outcomes due to improved adherence to their 
medicines, particularly for patients who are experiencing multiple chronic health conditions, seeing one 
or more doctors and/or other healthcare professionals and are therefore taking multiple medicines to 
manage these health conditions. All of this helps put the focus of the patient at the center of the
“healthcare team.”

NCPIE created “Talk About Your Medicines” Month in 1986 as an annual observance to call
attention to the need to stimulate and improve communication of information to promote safe and
appropriate medicine use between consumers and their healthcare providers. “Talk About Your
Medicines” Month is also intended to focus attention annually on the value that better medicine
communication can play in promoting better medicine use and better health outcomes. By design,
“Talk About Your Medicines” Month messaging is “evergreen” in the sense that key messages
can be used throughout the year.

October 16, 2014
Web-based Educational Resources to Promote Better Medication Adherence
Check out these Script Your Future Spanish resources (including Spanish Public Service Announcements
(PSAs),  and the Script Your Future event in a box feature to download materials to a host an adherence
promotion event in your community.  The Script Your Future website also has highlights of the Script
your Future campaign’s recent Google+ Hangout featuring the winning teams from the 2014 Medication
Adherence Team Challenge.

See Related from NCPIE:The Adherence Action Agenda (A3 Project).   

October 14, 2014
Be Medicine Smart about Acetaminophen Use: ‘Double Check, Don’t Double Up’ During Cold & Flu Season
The Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition (AAC), of which the National Council on Patient Information
and Education (NCPIE) is a partner, is reminding consumers that taking too much acetaminophen, a
common drug ingredient found in more than 600 medications, can be dangerous. AAC is encouraging
individuals to pay attention to drug labels. “Doubling up” on medications that contain acetaminophen 
can lead to liver failure. Acetaminophen is found in prescription pain relievers and in many over-the-
counter (OTC) pain relievers, fever reducers, and sleep aids, as well as in numerous cough, cold, and 
flu medicines. While safe and effective when used as directed, there is a limit as to how much can be 
taken in one day.

With cold and flu season here, the AAC wants to raise awareness about safe use of acetaminophen.
AAC encourages consumers to take the following four steps to ensure safe use of acetaminophen-
containing medication:
  1. Always read and follow the medicine label.
  2. Know if medicines contain acetaminophen, which is in bold type or highlighted in the “active ingredients” section of OTC medicine labels and sometimes listed as “APAP” or “acetam” on prescription labels.
  3. Never take two medicines that contain acetaminophen at the same time.
  4. Ask a health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions about dosing instructions or medicines that contain acetaminophen.
Related from NCPIE:

October 14, 2014
14 Nonclinical Ways to Improve Patient Health – including Medication Management & Improving
Nonclinical factors play a much greater role in boosting patient outcomes and cutting medical
expenses than hospital-provided clinical care, according to researchers at the Robert Wood Johnson
Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The study identified 14
factors that can overcome barriers to better patient health, including improving patient access and
care coordination, providing optimal medication management and nutritional support for patients at
home, and monitoring their conditions and mental health. 

See related from NCPIE:  Be Medicine Smart.

October 2, 2014
Patient Satisfaction Higher With Patient-Pharmacist Communication
Patient satisfaction is higher when a pharmacist works with a patient to increase adherence and to
thoroughly explain the risks and side effects of medications using multiple communication channels,
a report from JD Power indicates. The JD Power 2014 US Pharmacy Study also found that pharmacist
and staff interactions with customers are increasingly important drivers of satisfaction for both
brick-and-mortar, and mail-order pharmacies, while the speed of delivering and ease of ordering
medication also increases satisfaction with mail-order pharmacies. In addition, pharmacies that
collaborate with patients to create a plan to help ensure that the patient does not miss a
medication, particularly those with a 30-day supply, provided higher satisfaction for patients. The
study is based on responses from nearly 14,000 pharmacy customers who filled a new prescription or
refilled a prescription during the three months prior to the survey period.