Forward to Your Loved Ones: Tips on Adherence

Forward to Your Loved Ones: Tips on Adherence

01.05.12 | By Kate Connors

Associated Press reporter Linda Johnson wrote a great article this week (find it here on the Chicago Tribune's site) about medication adherence. I hate to say it's an exhaustive commentary on adherence, since that's a pretty big issue to cover, but she captures a lot - including, importantly, tips about programs, apps and resources to help patients adhere.

For example:

"- If you don't really understand why you were prescribed a drug and the consequences of not taking it, list your questions and talk to your doctor or pharmacist. If you do research on the Internet, stick to reliable websites run by government health agencies, patient advocacy groups, hospitals or universities.

- If you've been suffering side effects or worry a new medicine may cause them, talk to your doctor about whether there's an alternative drug or steps to lessen side effects, such as taking the drug with food or right before bed. Sometimes an additional drug may lessen side effects.

- If you can't afford your medicine, ask whether your doctor has free samples or there's a cheaper generic version."

For patients who are struggling financially, or who may not have insurance, she also recommends "contacting patient assistance programs run by brand-name drug manufacturers, the industry-backed Partnership for Prescription Assistance at www.pparx.org." After all, the PPA has helped millions of people since 2005; you can also reach the PPA at 1-888-4-PPA-NOW.

If you know anyone who may have trouble adhering to their medicines - perhaps because they take multiple prescriptions, perhaps because of side effects, whatever the reason - send them this article. It could very well make a big difference in their lives.

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