This year's "Talk About Prescriptions" theme -- "Are You Medicine Smart?"-- poses a simple question with profound implications for good health. Using this question as a framework for action, this year's "Talk About Prescriptions" Month messages and educational materials all focus on steps every consumer can take in order to answer this question with a resounding "Yes."
For example, being "Medicine Smart" means getting all the information necessary to use your medicine correctly. That means asking questions and sharing important information about past medicine use to better ensure that you get the most benefit from your treatment. If you're not sure what questions to ask about your medicine - see "10 Important Questions to Help You Be Medicine Smart."
Being "Medicine Smart" also means knowing several key facts about the medicines you are currently taking - and being able to share that information with the members of your healthcare team with each visit. That means keeping track of the names of the medicine(s) you are taking, how much you take, when and how you take it, why you take it, and when you started taking it (for how long), for example.
That's a lot to remember.
Fortunately, there is help available from NCPIE and others to make it easy for you to keep track of your personal medicine information. In "Making a Medicine List Makes You "Medicine Smart" NCPIE provides access to nearly a dozen sources where you print out a medicine list for yourself and other members of your family. Some can even be filled in, updated, and printed from the computer - making your medicine list just a click away whenever it's needed. This also makes it possible to email your medicine list to your healthcare provider if requested, and to whoever may be providing care-giving support for a loved one.
On-line and downloadable medicine lists and other resource materials to support safe and appropriate medicine use all year round are provided here. NCPIE encourages consumers to participate actively with their healthcare providers in all aspects of healthcare decision-making. When medicines are part of the treatment, that means being the key member of what NCPIE calls the Medicine Education Team by taking the time to become "Medicine Smart."