Dorothy L. Smith, Pharm.D, President and CEO of Consumer Health Information Corporation, is named in the 2008 PharmaVOICE 100 as a “A visionary patient advocate 25 years ahead of her time.”
McLean, VA — October 13, 2008 — Dr. Dorothy L. Smith, President and CEO of Consumer Health Information Corporation (CHIC), has been chosen one of the “100 Most Inspiring People in the Life-Sciences Industry in 2008” by PharmaVOICE. She is hailed as “a visionary patient advocate who has been described as being 25 years ahead of her time, bringing equal parts creativity and common sense when tracking a problem or responding to patient needs.”
“The PharmaVOICE 100 exemplify individuals who think outside the box, pioneering new paths to success, and inspiring their colleagues in the industry,” said Taren Grom, editor-in-chief and cofounder of PharmaVOICE. “We are extremely pleased to recognize these 100 individuals who have been able to translate industry issues into opportunities, and have taken the time to mentor the next generation of leaders in the life sciences arena.”
This issue of PharmaVOICE honors Dr. Smith as “a pioneer and visionary who has spearheaded many breakthroughs in the industry.” She has published more than 130 papers and 23 books that provide consumers with clinically accurate, easy to understand medicine instructions. Dr. Smith developed the Medication Guide for Patient Counseling — a required textbook on patient adherence and disease management programs in numerous schools of pharmacy throughout the United States and Canada.
For more than 25 years, Dr. Smith has been on the leading edge of developing patient adherence programs and materials for patients and consumers, giving them the information and motivation they need to make informed decisions about their health care and medicine use. Her career has been a series of firsts in patient information care: she was one of the first healthcare professionals to provide patient counseling in pharmacy, one of the first to author a book providing medication instructions to consumers, and formed one of the very first companies to bridge the communication gap existing between health professionals, pharmaceutical companies, and consumers.
Smith has overseen many breakthroughs benefiting consumers and patients. Yet, she says, there is much that still needs to be done to change the prescription and OTC medicine adherence paradigm because patients hold the key to a product’s ultimate effectiveness.
First, Dr. Smith would like to see decision makers in the pharmaceutical industry take more effective steps to increase patient adherence and compliance, saying drop-out rates in the first few months of treatment are currently as high as 85% with some drugs. She challenges those in the industry to recognize that patient education via simplified, practical and understandable information that “makes sense” does work if done correctly and should always lead to increased patient decisions to stay in therapy and successful treatment outcomes.
Second, Dr. Smith is concerned that patients in clinical trials need better patient education and must be able to understand informed consent documents and medication instructions as well as the need to provide honest feedback to the study investigators, noting that 30% of patients in some trials do not take their medications correctly and do not tell the study investigators. She theorizes that this may lead to drug dosages too high for the general population and may be contributing to the increased incidence of unexpected adverse drug reactions associated with some drugs after they have been released on the market.
Going forward, Dr. Smith is eager to continue her consumer and patient advocacy and is developing a line of patient information publications to help people manage their medicines and treatments safely and wisely.
About Consumer Health Information Corporation
Consumer Health Information Corporation (www.consumer-health.com) is internationally recognized for its innovative patient information and patient compliance programs. The company develops patient education and consumer awareness programs on medication use and disease management. They have produced a broad range of award-winning print and multimedia patient information programs that have helped millions of people learn to make wise decisions about their health and medications. Clients include pharmaceutical companies, consumer organizations and Fortune 500 companies, national healthcare and professional associations, managed care organizations, insurance companies, and pharmacies. The company is also a teaching site for several schools of pharmacy across the United States.