Communicating With Patients About Their Medications
Kessler, David A.
New England Journal of Medicine. 1991 Dec 5; 325(23): 1650-1652.
We live at a time when consumers and patients want to know more about the food they consume and the drugs they take, and their appetite for information is growing. Yet the nation is also facing a communications gap that has serious implications for the public health. This gap extends from what patients want to know about their medicines to what they actually learn from their physicians and pharmacists. The uncertainties of patients, who receive approximately 1.5 billion prescriptions a year, contribute to the failure of many of them to benefit fully from their medications. Evidence suggests that inadequate communication about drugs is one of the principal reasons why 30 to 55 percent of patients deviate from their medical regimens. Patients' misunderstanding of the proper use of medications is also an underlying cause of many adverse drug reactions. Now that computers, data banks, and rapid printers are common, we can do much better. Commercial advertising is not a suitable vehicle for educating the public about the risks and benefits of drugs. In my view, bridging the information gap is a matter of high priority for consumers, providers, and the Food and Drug Administration.
Advertising; Communication; Computers; Counseling; Disclosure; Drugs; Data Banks; Education; Federal Government; Food; Government; Government Regulation; Health; Health Education; Organizational Policies; Organizations; Patient Care; Patients; Pharmacists; Physicians; Professional Organizations; Public Health; Regulation; Risks and Benefits;
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