The U.S. Surgeon General, Regina Benjamin, is on the campaign trail. No, not for elections, for trying to get the public to become adherent to their prescriptions.
Benjamin says that “75% of the American people,” aren’t taking their medications as prescribed. Benjamin called medication nonadherence “a major public health problem.” This leads to unnecessary complications including heart attack and stroke.
“There are many reasons why people don’t take their medicine as directed, from concerns about side effects to the out-of-pocket costs of prescriptions. But the more that patients understand the impact medication has on their health, the more likely they are to keep up with their medication,” stated Rebecca Burkholder, vice president of health policy for the National Consumer League, who are co-sponsoring a test push in 6 major cities around the county. “Script Your Future is working in Baltimore and communities across the country to encourage more conversations about the health consequences of nonadherence and to provide patients and their health care professionals with a range of online tools and resources to help improve adherence among patients with chronic conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes and asthma.”
Dr. Benjamin agrees with her predecessor, Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, who said, “Drugs don’t work in patients who don’t take them.” Dr. Benjamin says that her entire effort is based on prevention.
The easiest way to prevent serious problems in your future is to take your meds exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Not sometimes… ALL the time.
PSA of Benjamin: