May 17, 2012
Washington, DC—The National Consumers League (NCL), the United States Surgeon General, and health care allies are celebrating the first anniversary of the national medication adherence campaign, Script Your Future, launched in May of 2011. The Script Your Future campaign addresses the need for tools and resources to support improved medication adherence across the country and to open dialogue between health care professionals and patients about the health consequences of non-adherence.
Poor medication adherence is a $290 billion problem annually, with three out of four Americans reporting that they do not always take their medication as directed, and causing more than one-third of medicine-related hospitalizations and nearly 125,000 deaths in the United States each year.
At an event in Washington, DC today, the National Consumers League is convening the more than 100 Committed Partners of the campaign to celebrate the reach of the first year, honor Partners’ ongoing support for the Script Your Future campaign, and call for renewed commitment to expanding the campaign’s efforts. Rear Admiral Scott Giberson, Chief of the U.S. Public Health Service Pharmacy Category and Assistant Surgeon General, will represent U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, who will congratulate campaign staff and supporters for their successes via pre-recorded video greeting.
To date, through its dynamic Web site, public service announcements, materials distributed directly to consumers and health care providers across the country, social media communities, text message alert services, local field organizers on the ground in six regional target markets, and its Student Pharmacist Challenge, the Script Your Future campaign has seen more than 300 million media impression and interfaced directly with tens of thousands of health care professionals and patients, many of whom have taken the pledge to take their medicines as directed at www.ScriptYourFuture.org.
“Our national challenge is to prevent poor health outcomes and to become a healthy and fit nation. One way is for the health care community and patients to come together to address the serious issue of medication non-adherence,” said Dr. Benjamin. “As a family physician, I know that conversations between clinicians and their patients are key to patients understanding why taking their medication correctly is so important, particularly in chronic health conditions such as diabetes, asthma and high blood pressure. The tools offered through NCL’s Script Your Future campaign empower patients to talk with their health care teams about their medication questions and concerns. “
“Patients often have understandable reasons for not taking their medicine as directed, from concerns about side effects to the out-of-pocket costs of prescriptions to difficulty finding time to call or visit the doctor to get a prescription renewed, but the more a patient understands the impact medication has on their health, the more likely their adherence will improve. Script Your Future is working in communities across the country to encourage more conversations about the health consequences of non-adherence and to provide patients and their health care professionals with tools and resources to help improve adherence among patients with chronic conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and asthma,” said Rebecca Burkholder, Vice President of Health Policy for the NCL.
Script Your Future has brought together stakeholders in health care advocacy, business, and government to help health care professionals strategize about better communication with patients and to offer practical tools for patients themselves to help them better adhere to their medication. The campaign has focused its efforts both nationally and in six regional target markets (Baltimore, Birmingham, Cincinnati, Providence, Raleigh, and Sacramento), where it is piloting interventions, outreach activities, research and advertising.
Script Your Future tools include free text message reminders, sample questions for patients to ask health care practitioners, medication lists, condition management sheets, and fact sheets on common chronic conditions. All of these materials can be found on the campaign website, www.ScriptYourFuture.org.
The Script Your Future wallet card, which provides a medication list, and questions for patients to ask a pharmacist or doctor about their medication, has proved popular with more than a quarter of a million disseminated to consumers to date.
“We give Script Your Future wallet cards to everybody we sit down with, every time we conduct a medication review. They’re perfectly convenient, simple to use and such a great tool to help many of our patients begin making a conscious effort to not only take their medications as prescribed, but live the healthy lifestyle they need,” said Patrick Devereux, PharmD. FMS Pharmacy, Birmingham, AL.
In the next two years, Script Your Future will continue to build on the partnerships developed and extend the reach of the campaign, on the strength of its 100-plus partners, and the on-the-ground outreach of field organizers in target markets.
To view NCL’s digital report about year one of the Script Your Future campaign, visit www.ScriptYourFuture.org/YearOne.
Script Your Future is a campaign of the National Consumers League (NCL), a private, non-profit membership organization founded in 1899. For more information about the Script Your Future campaign, visit www.ScriptYourFuture.org. For more information about NCL, please visit www.nclnet.org.