Surgeon General Benjamin joins with National Consumers League for annual meeting of Committed Partners on National Medication Adherence Awareness Campaign
July 11, 2013
Washington, DC—Yesterday the National Consumers League (NCL) convened its annual meeting of the Committed Partners of the Script Your Future public education campaign, in its third year of raising awareness among patients about the consequences of not taking medication as directed. Three out of four Americans are non-adherent, meaning that they fail to take prescribed medicines as directed by their health care professionals. Coordinated by the League and launched in 2011, the innovative, multi-stakeholder effort campaign continues to educate millions of patients, family caregivers and health care professionals about the importance of adherence.
At the annual meeting, representatives from the campaign’s 135 Committed Partners and other supporters gathered to highlight campaign successes, hear reports from field organizers in the campaign’s local target markets and strategize about its ongoing work in the changing healthcare landscape. The attendees heard remarks from outgoing U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin, who earlier this summer announced her plans to step down from the post. Benjamin talked about her involvement in Script Your Future and offered support for continued success.
"Our national challenge is to become a more healthy and fit nation. We can’t prevent all diseases, but we can prevent many from getting worse by taking our medications as directed. When we work together as a whole team, we can provide better healthcare for patients," said Benjamin. "Thousands of consumers are taking the pledge and using many Script Your Future tools to improve adherence."
Dr. Benjamin helped Script Your Future organizers present awards to the winners of the 2013 Medication Adherence Team Challenge, who traveled to the meeting to represent their colleges and universities and receive the national honors. This month-long competition engaged health profession students and faculty in developing creative ideas for raising awareness about medication adherence as a critical public health issue. This year’s awardees are: St. Louis College of Pharmacy, University of Charleston School of Pharmacy, University of the Pacific Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, Touro University California College of Pharmacy, and The University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy.
“This year’s challenge featured 1,700 future health care professionals holding 200 events in 35 states and the District of Columbia, counseling more than 12,000 patients and reaching more than 3 million consumers nationwide,” said Sally Greenberg, Executive Director of the National Consumers League, the organization that coordinates Script Your Future. “We were honored to have Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, a good friend and long-time supporter of the campaign, with us today to help honor the student leaders who represent an exciting and new generation of patient-minded health professionals."
Dr. Janet Woodcock, Director, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, FDA spoke at the meeting as well. The National Consumers League was recently notified by the FDA of the availability of grant funds to support the Script Your Future campaign by an announcement in the Federal Register.
“The framing of this campaign is brilliant. You are in control of your own future. It brings it home personally. You can control your future by taking action now,” said Woodcock. “NCL is the ideal lead for this effort, a trusted advocate for the health and welfare of the public. We at FDA intend to support NCL in any way we can to keep this effort going.”
Script Your Future is supported by a coalition of more than 130 public and private partners, including health care professional groups, chronic disease groups, health insurance plans, pharmaceutical companies, business organizations, consumer groups, as well as researchers and government agencies. The Script Your Future regional markets are Baltimore, Md.; Birmingham, Ala.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Providence, RI; Raleigh, NC; and Sacramento, Calif.
Since its launch in 2011, the campaign has represented the interests of consumers and patients in providing materials in numerous languages through partnerships with pharmacies, hospitals, medical offices and clinics, and health insurance plans; hosted community events and health fairs across the country; partnered with local officials, and evaluated medication adherence awareness through research. The centerpiece of the first-of-its-kind, multi-year campaign is a website, www.ScriptYourFuture.org, which provides tools to support patient efforts to adhere to their prescribed medicine. Tools include free text message reminders, videos, sample questions, medication lists and charts to keep track of medicines, and fact sheets on common chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma and high blood pressure.
To learn more about the campaign, visit www.ScriptYourFuture.org.
Script Your Future is a campaign of the National Consumers League (NCL), a private, non-profit membership organization founded in 1899. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. The National Consumers League serves consumers across the country by providing government, businesses and other organizations with the consumer’s perspective on a range of concerns – including health care and medication information. As an advocacy organization, NCL is working to educate consumers and key health stakeholders on the importance of taking medication as directed. For more information about this campaign, visit www.ScriptYourFuture.org, and for more information on our other areas of focus, please visit www.nclnet.org.