Consumer Health Information Corporation President Dorothy L. Smith, PharmD, is one of a group of recognized authorities in the field of patient education asked by the national association representing chain community pharmacy to help develop a major survey that measures consumers' attitudes and behavior toward prescription drug use.
The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Pharmacy Care Index surveys people of different ages, race and gender on how well they are following their doctor's orders and talking with their pharmacist to get the most of their medicine. The results to date are surprising. Out of a possible score of 100, the average overall score is only 57.7, which shows that there is a tremendous need to help consumers improve their "Rx IQ."
"The results of this survey clearly show that consumers are not asking the questions they need to ask so they are fully knowledgeable about how to manage their medication safely at home," Dr. Smith said. "This is why so many patients are making home medication errors that lead to unnecessary suffering. It is also one of the main reasons the U.S. spends more to treat problems related to improper use of prescription medicines than it does on the prescription medicines themselves."
Dr. Smith was invited to participate because of her recognized expertise in areas including medication compliance/retention and consumer behavior. Others invited to join the "Expert Panel" were from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Georgetown University Medical Center, Institute of Safe Medication Practices, the National Consumers League, the National Council on Patient Information & Education, and the National Patient Safety Foundation.
"Improper use of medications by patients who do not know enough about them has been an important concern of FDA for decades," said FDA Deputy Commissioner Dr. Lester Crawford. "With the help of pharmacists and industry, considerable progress has been made in getting reliable and easy-to-understand drug information to the people who need it. But a lot remains to be done, and this education campaign represents a step in the right direction."
To make it easier for consumers to take the Pharmacy Care Quiz, a number of community chain pharmacies offer links to to it on their websites. These include Albertson's, Bartell Drugs, CVS Pharmacy, Eckerd Drug, Giant Food, Hi- School Pharmacy, Lewis Drugs, Rite Aid, Wakefern, and Walgreens.
In the coming months, the campaign will be expanded to include materials and special projects to remind the public of the importance of medication safety. Each year, NACDS plans to release the Pharmacy Care Index, an updated report on the number of Americans improving their "RxSmarts" by taking the Pharmacy Care Quiz. The quiz can be found online at www.RxSmart.org.
About Consumer Health Information Corporation
Consumer Health Information Corporation was founded by Dorothy L. Smith, Pharm.D, an internationally recognized clinical pharmacist with expertise in patient adherence and patient education. The mission of Consumer Health Information Corporation is to help patients learn how to manage their diseases and prescribed treatments safely and wisely. The company has developed more than 4000 evidence-based patient education programs for medications, medical devices, disease management and Phase III clinical trials worldwide. A respected clinical and educational source, Consumer Health Information Corporation has won major national and international awards for excellence in patient and consumer education programs that have significantly increased patient adherence. Dr. Smith is the author of more than 130 professional articles, 23 books and has delivered more than 150 professional and scholarly addresses.
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