Working for Better Medication Adherence

By CAMERON LINDSEY, Pharm.D., BC-ADM, CDE | UMKC Professor of Pharmacy Practice & Administration

Taking medication as directed may seem simple, but non-adherence among people with chronic conditions is a complex and widespread public health problem. Nearly three out of four Americans report that they do not always take their medications as directed, leading to serious health consequences and avoidable costs. That is why this October student pharmacists from the University of Missouri-Kansas City worked to raise awareness among patients across the state about the importance of taking medication as prescribed – a vital first step toward a longer, healthier life.

There are many reasons why people do not take their medication as directed, but the result is the same – they don’t receive the therapy their health care professionals have prescribed for them, leading to more serious health complications, reduced quality of life, and even early death.

Script Your Future focuses on patients affected by three serious chronic conditions – diabetes, respiratory disease and cardiovascular disease.

“Poor medication adherence is costing Americans their good health and our nation billions,” says Russell B. Melchert, Dean, UMKC School of Pharmacy. “Improved adherence is in all our best interests, contributing to lower overall health care costs and increased quality of life. By focusing national attention on this issue, Script Your Future helps us all take the first step towards a healthier future. UMKC has made it a priority to educate the next generation of pharmacists about the importance of communicating openly with patients about medication adherence, learning about the challenges they face and helping them find a solution.”

UMKC joins other schools of pharmacy across the country in participating in the Script Your Future Adherence Challenge. Script Your Future is a national coalition of more than 100 public and private stakeholder organizations, led by the National Consumers League. The campaign provides tools – available online at www.ScriptYourFuture.org – to help patients and health care professionals better communicate about ways to improve medication adherence.

To get involved in the Script Your Future Adherence Challenge, please contact Cameron Lindsey, PharmD, BC-ADM, CDE at lindseyca@umkc.edu. For more information about the campaign, please visit www.ScriptYourFuture.org or follow the campaign via Twitter (@IWillTakeMyMeds) and on Facebook.

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