Did you know three out of four people do not take their medication correctly? Pharmacy students at Northeast Ohio Medical University are trying to change that staggering statistic by participating in a national “Script Your Future” campaign. Sponsored by the National Consumers League, this two-month campaign focuses on raising awareness about medical adherence by finding creative ways to interact with the public.
“People think because their medication isn’t making them feel better that it is not working,” says Kaitlin Patterson, a third-year pharmacy student and chair of the Script Your Future Campaign, “Then, they stop taking the medication instead of talking to their doctor.”
So, what exactly is medical adherence? This means following all of the doctor’s directions about how to take the medicine, such as what time to take it; if it can/can’t be taken with food; or if you should avoid foods that could interact with it. If a medication is not working, it is appropriate for the patient to talk to their doctor or pharmacist.
Students working on the campaign raise awareness through community events to help equip people with the tools to adhere better. One big event being held is at The Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland on March 11 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
“We wanted our events to be more family-oriented this year,” says Patterson. “We offer free blood pressure screenings for the parents, but we also give out stickers and allow the kids to make their own medicine capsules to capture their attention as well.”
At the tables, students hand out wallet cards; encourage people to take the medical adherence pledge; pass out pillboxes; help set up text reminders; and take the time to answer questions. “What really stands out to me is how easy it is for people to open up to us,” says Nikki Baird, a first year pharmacy student and campaign member. “It’s amazing to see how trusted we are as health care professionals and that people really have faith in us.”
To learn more about Script Your Future, go to scriptyourfuture.org for patient-friendly information about the campaign and health conditions. To get involved, stop by one of the following events:
- Jan. 28, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. - Cleveland Convention Center, 300 W. Lakeside Ave.
- Feb. 11, 2 p.m. - University of Akron Women’s Basketball Game - James A. Rhodes Arena, 373 Carroll St.
- Feb. 11, 9 a.m. to noon - NEOMED Heroin Epidemic Presentation, New Center Ballroom, 4209 OH-44, Rootstown