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AHCPR and NCPIE Encourage Consumers To Talk With Health Care Professionals About Safe, Effective Prescription Medicine Use

Press Release Date: September 12, 1996

New information released today in print and via the Internet will help consumers talk with their doctors, pharmacists and other health care professionals about using prescription medicines safely and effectively.

Prescription Medicines and You: A Consumer Guide was developed through a partnership between the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE). NCPIE will encourage health professionals and consumer organizations to distribute the guide as part of its annual "Talk About Prescriptions" Month in October. This year's theme is "Team Up and Talk About Prescriptions."

"We are delighted to join with NCPIE in this important effort to help consumers obtain better health outcomes from their prescription medicines," said AHCPR Administrator Clifton R. Gaus, Sc.D.

According to NCPIE Chairman Paul G. Rogers, J.D., "Over two-thirds of physician visits end with a prescription being written.

Yet, for some illnesses, up to half of all patients do not take their prescription medicines correctly, often because of a lack of information."

Rogers said that is why it is important for patients and health care professionals to work together. "Often, just knowing what questions to ask and what to tell your doctor, pharmacist or nurse can help you get the most from your medicine," he said.

The guide urges consumers to get involved in their prescription medicine use by taking part in decisions about their treatment, following their treatment plan, and watching for problems and getting help in solving them.

AHCPR is the lead Federal agency charged with supporting research designed to improve the quality of health care, reduce its cost and broaden access to essential services.

NCPIE, formed in 1982, is a non-profit coalition focused on improving communication between health care professionals and patients about prescription medicines. This is accomplished through a variety of educational resources; consumer, patient and health professional awareness campaigns; and conferences.

NCPIE's membership includes nearly 300 organizations representing health professionals, consumers, pharmaceutical companies, voluntary health agencies, managed care organizations and the Food and Drug Administration.

For 10 or fewer free copies of Prescription Medicines and You: A Consumer Guide (AHCPR Pub. No. 96-0056), contact the AHCPR Publications Clearinghouse, P.O. Box 8547, Silver Spring, MD 20907; telephone 800-358-9295.

For larger orders, contact: NCPIE, 666 Eleventh Street, N.W., Suite 810, Washington, D.C. 20001-4542; telephone (202) 347-6711; Fax (202) 638-0773. Bulk discounts may apply (cost is $25 per 50 copies).

The guide can be accessed on AHCPR's Web site by clicking on Consumer Health.

A Spanish-language version of the guide will be available later this year.

For additional information, contact ACHPR Public Affairs: Salina Prasad, (301) 427-1864.

The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


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