How many times have YOU gone to the doctor, been prescribed medication and arrived home, only to find that you’re not exactly sure about possible side effects, dosing challenges or the risk of taking a new medication along with other medicines you’ve already been prescribed? And sometimes, you may be too embarrassed to clarify the instructions and may even decide not to take the medication at all. If you’ve experienced this, you are not alone. According to a recent study conducted by the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE), only 56 percent of patients report high to very high adherence to treatment regimens, and approximately 62 percent of patients are not aware of their medicines’ risks. This cycle of medication nonadherence and lack of effective patient-healthcare provider (HCP) communication has long-term implications, contributing to as much as $290 billion per year in avoidable medical spending or 13 percent of total healthcare expenditures.
As patients/patients and caregivers, we can help maximize the benefits and minimize risks when taking prescription medicines by learning how to effectively engage our healthcare providers. It’s important to:
TalkBeforeYouTake.org contains tools that will help you effectively communicate with doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and pharmacists so you don’t walk away from a doctor’s appointment or the pharmacy with that nagging feeling, “Wow—I don’t know why I didn’t ask if it’s okay to take this medicine with my usual glass of wine with dinner,” for example.
In Patient Tools you will find free and downloadable materials that you can use to prepare for your next doctor’s appointment and visits with your pharmacist. Feel free to share these tools with others!