Bethesda, MD The National Council on Patient Information and Education today kicks off "Talk About Prescriptions" Month by encouraging medicine users to make the most of the written information that accompanies their prescription. "Your Medicine Information: Read It and Heed It" is the "Talk About Prescriptions" Month theme.
"Consumers, patients and caregivers may be unsure exactly what questions to ask or how to talk about prescriptions," said W. Ray Bullman, NCPIE's Executive Vice President. "With virtually every prescription medicine is a printed information sheet. We urge everyone to use it as a starting point for asking questions of their pharmacist, physician, nurse, and/or other health care professionals," he continued.
By 2006, 95% of these so-called "consumer medicine information" (CMI) leaflets must meet federal criteria for usefulness, according to Public Law 104-180. At the request of the Food and Drug Administration, since 2003, NCPIE has been coordinating the CMI Initiative, composed of stakeholders involved in the development, actual output, dissemination and use of CMI. Together, NCPIE and its CMI partners are working to meet the 2006 target.
"Our theme, 'Your Medicine Information: Read It and Heed It,' can help patients take advantage of information they may be overlooking, so that they can use their medicines safely and appropriately," Bullman noted. "Consumers selecting non-prescription medicines should always read the 'Drug Facts' label; prescription medicine users should read, heed, and retain for reference as needed the CMI leaflets," he added.
Specific NCPIE activities scheduled for "Talk About Prescriptions" Month include:
- Launch of NCPIE's redesigned website at http://www.talkaboutrx.org
- Publication by NCPIE of the American Medication Association's "Guidelines for Physicians for Counseling Patients About Prescription Medications in the Ambulatory Setting"
- Issuing of an Epocrates' DocAlert® message about the AMA Guidelines and "TAP."
- Featuring "TAP" Month during an October broadcast of the Healthy Life Radio Show, sponsored by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, in Baltimore.
This marks NCPIE's 19th annual observance of "Talk About Prescriptions" Month. The National Council on Patient Information is a non-profit coalition of over 120 organizations committed to improving communication between consumers and health care professionals about the safe, appropriate use of medicines. In addition to sponsoring "Talk About Prescriptions" Month (http://www.talkaboutrx.org), NCPIE also hosts the "Be MedWise" campaign promoting wise use of over-the-counter medicines (http://www.bemedwise.org).