For Patients, It's All in the Name

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

Patients who know their pharmacist'sname have better medication-usehabits, according to the results of anational survey commissioned by theAmerican Pharmacists Association.These patients are more willing to telltheir pharmacist the other medicinesthey are currently taking; read productlabels all the time (47%); know themain ingredients of the prescriptionmedicines they are taking (61%); anduse their pharmacist as a source ofinformation on medicines (93%).

Some of the respondents, however,do not think of the pharmacist as avaluable resource. In fact, manypatients do not make use of their pharmacist'sexperience, education, andknowledge of medicines. Of the 1565respondents, 35% know their pharmacist'sname but are more likely to be ona first-name basis with their hairdresser(56%), compared with their pharmacist(21%).

The survey also revealed thatpatients have beliefs or habits that cansignificantly increase their risk of medication-use problems. These habits canbe changed, however. A major part ofrespecting the power of medication ishaving the information on how to useit safely and effectively—informationpharmacists can provide.