Week in Review: Communicating for Positive Patient Outcomes

Week in Review: Communicating for Positive Patient Outcomes

05.10.13 | By Kaelan Hollon

Following our focus on young innovators this week, I’m reminded that ongoing research and innovation significantly improves the lives of patients and contributes to the health of our economy. The pace of innovation is staggering, and with so much information available at our fingertips, ensuring patients are utilizing reliable, accurate sources to make the best decisions for their health can be a challenge. Regular communication is essential.

To explore this topic, we posted a discussion filmed during #PhRMA13 with Friends of Cancer Research, the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Medical Progress and the U.S. Pain Foundation to determine what they believe is most effective in engaging patients and sharing information about health care. Paul Gileno, founder of the U.S. Pain Foundation, Paul Howard, a senior fellow and the director of the Center for Medical Progress, and Jeff Allen, the executive director of Friends of Cancer Research, all agreed that it is important to get information from reliable sources. Also, if a patient is searching for information online, it is always best to look at more than one source. They emphasized that individuals should never be afraid to speak to their doctor or pharmacist. It was a privilege to host the discussion and we couldn’t agree more.

A survey released by Prescriptions for a Healthy America, a coalition of which PhRMA is a participant that launched last week, echoed this point. The survey found that approximately two-thirds of American adults taking prescription medications are non-adherent. This non-adherence resulted from a number of factors including not understanding why a medication has been prescribed and what the effects could be if not taken appropriately.

Although the Internet and social media channels make it easier to obtain information, not all of that information is reliable and it’s critical to know sources. A number of disease and patient-focused organizations like the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association are great sources of information on specific conditions, but if you are ever unsure about the information you have, it is important to always ask your doctor.

In the coming weeks, tune in to the Catalyst to learn more about how PhRMA is working with patient groups and others across the industry (and beyond) to encourage an open dialogue about the importance of ensuring the credibility of information and positive health outcomes. We’re looking forward to continuing the conversation!

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