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    Coalition launches campaign to educate public about adherence

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    The National Consumer League (NCL) has launched a nationwide campaign, Script Your Future, to improve medication adherence by stressing the importance of taking medications as directed and providing consumers with tools to help them do so.


    Rebecca Burkholder
    Poor adherence to medication regimens has serious implications for the health of Americans and the cost of healthcare, said Rebecca Burkholder, NCL vice president of Health Policy, in June at the PQA/URAC Medication Adherence Summit in Washington, DC. "[It is] a pervasive public health problem," she said. "It crosses social, demographic, and cultural lines."

    Studies have shown that nearly 3 out of 4 Americans say they don't always take their medications and 1 in 3 don't even fill their prescriptions. This lack of adherence to a prescribed medication regimen increases healthcare costs by about $290 billion per year, according to the NCL.

    Campaign goals

    The goals of the Script Your Future campaign are to raise public awareness of the importance of adherence and to make healthcare professionals more aware of the problems caused by poor adherence, Burkholder said. The 3-year campaign is paying special attention to 3 major health issues: respiratory problems (including COPD and asthma), cardiovascular disease (including high blood pressure and high cholesterol), and diabetes.

    Kelly Murphy of GMMB, which helped create the campaign, noted that spreading a message about nonadherence to a wide and diverse audience can be difficult. "There is no single nonadherent personality," Murphy said.

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    Valerie DeBenedette
    Valerie DeBenedette is a medical news writer in Putnam County, N.Y.