Medication non-adherence continues to be a major public health concern, with nearly three out of four Americans admitting that they do not always take their medication as directed, a problem that causes more than one-third of medicine-related hospitalizations, nearly 125,000 deaths in the U.S. each year, and adds $290 billion in avoidable costs to the health care system annually.
One of several ways the College is working to encourage medication adherence is through the Script Your Future campaign led by the National Consumers League (NCL), a 113-year-old Washington, DC-based consumer advocacy organization. This year marks the second anniversary of the three-year campaign, which targets those who suffer from three chronic conditions: cardiovascular, diabetes and respiratory. The campaign addresses the need for tools and resources to support medication adherence across the country and opens dialogue between health care professionals and patients about the health consequences of non-adherence.
The ACC is proud to be a partner in this initiative, as messages about the importance of adherence need to come from a variety of places in order for patients to absorb them. The campaign faces this challenge head-on by partnering with diverse groups, and working to reach patients in a variety of places, and via a variety of relationships – through open dialogue with doctors, pharmacists, nurses, caregivers, and other health care professionals.
Over the last two years, Script Your Future has provided resources for ACC state chapters, as well as nationally as part of the Million Hearts campaign, to increase patient education around the benefits of medication adherence as it relates to the treatment and prevention of heart disease. It also affords opportunities to promote CardioSmart tools, such as the CardioSmart Med Reminder app. This app is free for iPhone and iPad users and is intended to serve as a medication and prescription refill reminder, as well as a personal medication record, to help patients communicate with health care providers about the medications they are taking. This summer the ACC is again promoting a “Don’t Take a Vacation from Your Medication” campaign on its social media channels, with links to Script Your Future and CardioSmart resources, including a video for patients and a Med Adherence infographic (pictured). Get all of the tips and tools on the ACC’s Facebook page and be sure to follow @ACCinTouch on Twitter.