November 20, 2014
Contact: Ben Klein, National Consumers League, (202) 835-3323, firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, DC— Upon completion of its initial three-year program to raise awareness among patients about the consequences of not taking medication as directed, the Committed Partners of the Script Your Future campaign gathered for their annual meeting yesterday. 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 National Consumers League and launched in 2011, the innovative, multi-stakeholder effort campaign has educated millions of patients, family caregivers, and health care professionals about the importance of adherence.
At the annual meeting, representatives from the campaign’s 130+ Committed Partners and other supporters gathered to celebrate the program’s accomplishments, examine “Lessons Learned” from years of campaign planning and implementation, hear from our pilot city field organizers, and present the awards for our Medication Adherence Team Challenge to the winning student teams from schools of pharmacy and health professions.
As former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop once said, ‘Drugs don’t work in patients who don’t take them.” “The National Consumers League’s Script Your Future campaign gets to the heart of the issue as to why patients fail to take their medications,” said Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Boris Lushniak, M.D., M.P.H. “Raising awareness about the importance of medication adherence is a priority for the Office of the Surgeon General.”
“The Script Your Future campaign has made a difference in the collective fight to increase awareness about this serious public health problem and has helped lay the groundwork for a healthier future for patients and our health care system,” said Janet Woodcock, MD, Director, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, US Food and Drug Administration. “The involvement of dozens of organizations, significant grass-roots support in the six pilot cities, and participation by health care professionals of the future through the Adherence Team Challenge has contributed to the success of this campaign.”
At the meeting, Script Your Future organizers presented awards to the winners of the 2014 Medication Adherence Team Challenge, who traveled to the meeting to represent their colleges and universities and receive the national honors. The 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: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine School of Pharmacy, St. Louis College of Pharmacy, Touro University California College of Pharmacy, Northeast Ohio Medical University College of Pharmacy, and University of Wisconsin – Madison School of Pharmacy.
In its three years, the Script Your Future campaign has reached 12 million patients, distributed more than a million wallet cards for managing multiple medications, and provided direct counseling to 60,000 Americans.
“We are delighted to see how this campaign has grown over the years, as its messages on the importance of adherence have resonated with both health care professionals and patients,” said NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg. “Through our Adherence Team Challenge, we are seeing a new generation of health care professionals who appreciate the value of putting the patient at the center of care, and we expect this will yield immeasurable improvements in patient-provider relationships—and ultimately in medication adherence—in the years to come.”
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 pilot cities 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, 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 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 ScriptYourFuture.org, and for more information on our other areas of focus, please visit www.nclnet.org.