Florida Family Network, Inc. Support “Script Your Future”
Research shows that nearly three out of four Americans don’t take their medications as directed, resulting in serious health consequences. Medication non-adherence is a huge problem that can threaten patients’ health individually as well as add vast costs to the health care system—an estimated $290 billion annually.
The National Consumer League (NCL) leads “Script Your Future” a comprehensive, integrated campaign to raise awareness and provides practical tools that help patients and health care professionals better communicate about the ways to improve mediation adherence.
Florida Family Network (FFN) has supported NCL’s “Script Your Future” (www.ScriptYourFuture.org.) Campaign and sees that the campaign is making an impact. At the inception of Script Your Future in 2011, Dr. Regina M. Benjamin, the U.S. Surgeon General, stated, “America’s medication adherence problem is a public health concern, significant enough to warrant the widespread interest of health care stakeholders”. The campaign continues to represent the interests of consumers and patients in providing materials in numerous languages through partnerships with pharmacies, hospitals, medical offices, clinics and health insurance plans. However, medication adherence remains a problem today.
Sokoya Finch, Executive Director, FFN is concerned about the issue of medication adherence with racial, ethnic and minorities groups. This group of people has the highest rates of these chronic conditions. Blacks are most likely to die from heart disease than any other U.S. racial and ethnic group. Hispanic Americans are reported to have twice the mortality from diabetes than whites.1 Closing the gap of medical adherence aimed at this specific population should improve the patients’ health outcomes.
Dr. Regina M. Benjamin, U.S. Surgeon General and Sokoya Finch, ED, Florida Family Network.
Sally Greenberg, ED- National Consumer League and Sokoya Finch, ED - Florida Family Network.
Research shows that nearly three out of four Americans don’t take their medications as directed, resulting in serious health consequences. Medication non-adherence is a huge problem that can threaten patients’ health individually as well as add vast costs to the health care system—an estimated $290 billion annually.2
“We all play a part in helping to resolve this problem”, says FFN’s Medical Director, Dr. Kendra Lewis. Patients are encouraged to always communicate medication side effects or other problems to their doctor and also talk to their doctor before stopping a medication on their own. Providers are encouraged to be sensitive to the needs of patients. More complex medication regimens, high cost of drugs, and patient’s lack of education regarding what to expect from medications can all contribute to higher rates of medication non-adherence, stated Dr. Lewis.
To read more information on helping patients take their medications as directed, go to: http://www.publichealthreports.org/issueopen.cfm?articleID=2800
1 Smedley BD, Stith AY, Nelson AR, eds. Unequal treatment: confronting racial and ethnic disparities in health care. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press; 2003 2 “Thinking Outside The Pillbox: A System-wide Approach to Improving Patient Adherence for Chronic Disease.” NEHI. 2009.
The following is a reference to educate providers on overcoming medication non-adherence: http://www.cdc.gov/primarycare/materials/medication/docs/medication-adherence-01ccd.pdf