National Consumers League

Time to Talk


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by NCL Staff

Our friends at the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) at the National Institutes of Health have just launched an educational campaign—Time to Talk—to encourage the discussion of use. Complementary and alternative meds (CAM) include products and practices such as herbal supplements, meditation, chiropractic care, and acupuncture.

AARP recently teamed up with NCCAM to survey patients over the age of 50, and they found that patients and their physicians aren’t really talking about alternative medicine. It looks like patients don’t know to ask their docs aboutTime to Talk alternative meds, and physicians aren’t initiating the conversations either. But this doesn’t mean that consumers aren’t using the herbal supplements, and other alternative medicines. The same survey found that nearly two-thirds ARE using it!

Hence, the Time to Talk program – put in place to try to initiate discussion between patients and their docs about what kinds of treatments they’re using or interested in trying. We at NCL are big fans of patient-provider communication, and we’re happy to help spread the word about Time to Talk. We’ve even provided a personal medication record for all consumers to get their medications listed in one place and help begin a conversation with their doctors – to prevent medication duplication, dangerous interactions, or a general lack of communication between doctors and patients. Good for you, NCCAM, and best of luck on spreading the messages of this important campaign!