The NCPIE is a nonprofit organization comprising various members, including patient advocates, health professionals, public health organizations, schools of pharmacy, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and government officials.
These members develop programs aimed at helping consumers make educated decisions about their health and about the prescription and OTC medications that they take. The NCPIE's programs are also aimed at health care professionals.
The NCPIE's content is unique in that it always provides actionable tips aimed at increasing communication.
Development of information for consumers focuses on a general understanding of medication safety and the importance of engaging health care providers in conversations about health and medications.
Information for health care professionals focuses on effective ways of providing material to consumers and engaging consumers in effective education discussions.
The NCPIE is involved in the following medication awareness campaigns, all of which offer valuable resources for both consumers and health care professionals:
- Talk About Your Medicines Month1: This campaign has occurred every October for the past 31 years. During the month, the NCPIE encourages both health care professionals and consumers to understand how better medicine communication may promote improved medicine use and health outcomes. Over the years, this program has increased its focus to help consumers understand their expected health outcomes, possible medication adverse effects, and the benefits and potential risks of therapy.
- Talk Before You Take2: This message is simple but vitally important. In this campaign, the NCPIE encourages patients and health care providers to discuss medications before prescriptions are filled. Discussions must include an understanding of medication adverse effects, how to avoid adverse drug reactions, the importance of following the medication regimen, and how a medication can improve a condition. The Talk Before You Take website has excellent tools for health care providers to use with patients.
- Must for Seniors3: Many seniors take 3 or more medications each day, and 4 of 5 seniors take at least 1 daily. For this campaign, the NCPIE offers a number of actionable tools aimed at avoiding medicine mishaps, managing adverse effects, and improving knowledge about medication use.
- SCOUTStrong4: The NCPIE has partnered with the Boy Scouts of America to develop the SCOUTStrong Be MedWise program. This campaign is an interactive way to educate youth about the importance of safely and responsibly using medications. The SCOUTStrong website offers 4 interactive lessons about medication, covering topics, such as what is medicine, using medicine safely, and understanding drug labels.
- Recovery Opens Doors5: This real-life recovery tool is designed for both consumers and health care professionals who are either seeking recovery resources or need help talking to others who are seeking resources. This site has tools that help discuss prevention, treatment, and referral for mental health and/or substance abuse disorders.
In addition to those 5 flagship campaigns, the NCPIE collaborates with other organizations and actively participates in the following programs.
- National Recovery Month Planning Partners
- Prescriptions for a Healthy America: A Partnership for Advancing Medication Adherence
- Script Your Future National Medication Adherence Awareness Campaign
- The Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition—Know Your Dose Campaign
- The Medicine Abuse Project by the Partnership at DrugFree.org.
- The National Coordinating Council on Medication Error Reporting and Prevention
- The CDC PROTECT & PROTECT-Rx Initiatives: Advancing Children's Medication Safety
- Protecting Access to Pain Relief Coalition
- Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies
Visit the NCPIE website6 for information about all these campaigns and programs and more. In addition, becoming a member of the NCPIE is an excellent way to support healthy medication use.
1. National Council on Patient Information and Education. Talk about your medicines month: 2016: polypharmacy-America's other drug problem. http://www.bemedwise.org/talk-about-your-medicines-month/2016. Published October 2016. Accessed August 24, 2017.
2. National Council on Patient Information and Education. Talk before you take. http://www.talkbeforeyoutake.org/. Accessed August 24, 2017.
3. National Council on Patient Information and Education. Must for seniors: toolkits for older adults. http://www.bemedwise.org/health-education-resources/older-adults. Accessed August 24, 2017.
4. National Council on Patient Information and Education. SCOUTStrong. http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BSAFit/MedWise_Award.aspx. Accessed August 24, 2017.
5. National Council on Patient Information and Education. Recovery opens doors. http://www.recoveryopensdoors.org/. Accessed August 24, 2017.
6. National Council on Patient Information and Education. Be medwise. http://www.bemedwise.org/national-council-on-patient-information-and-education/about-us. Accessed August 24, 2017.
Steve Leuck, PharmD
Steve Leuck, PharmD, has been practicing both hospital and community pharmacy for over 30 years. He founded AudibleRx, in 2011, which provides Consumer Medication Information in an easy-to-listen audible format. Increased health literacy means better outcomes.