19-Dec-12 7:45 AM  CST

Medication Guides: Helpful or Cumbersome?

Medication guides were designed to do many things to help healthcare providers and patients understand the sometimes cumbersome nature of medications, their uses, side effects, unnecessary adverse events, risk evaluation, and mitigation strategies.  According to a recent study conducted by the Journal of Internal Medicine, medication guides are becoming useless and cumbersome due to low literacy levels of patients and the fact that they are often hard to understand for some people. 
How can pharmacy technicians help patients understand these medication guides better?  Here are a few ways they can help: 
· Learning.  Pharmacy Technicians can assist patients in understanding medication guides by learning as much as possible about particular drugs and how they work.  If the technician understands the medical knowledge present in the medication guides they can then communicate the information in a correct manner to patients so they can better understand their medication. 
· Patience and good customer service.  Addressing patient concerns and questions about these medication guides in a professional and patient manner can help customers feel as though they can talk to you about their drug guides.  Customers will appreciate the fact that you took the time to do your job right and in a pleasant manner. 
Researchers wrote recently on the state of medication guides in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.  “Prior investigations have repeatedly found that physicians and pharmacists miss opportunities to counsel patients on appropriate use of prescribed medicines, so med guides remain a frontline and often sole channel for risk information to patients.”  With this said it is even more important that the medication guides be understood.  Pharmacy Technicians and their pharmacists can even suggest to drug companies how to make these medication guides better and easier for patients to understand. 
1.  Silverman, Ed.  “Patient Med Guides Are Of Little Value.”  Pharmalot.  Web.  17 Dec 2012. 
2.  Woloshin, Steven.  “Getting To Better Prescription Drug Information.”  Society of General Internal Medicine.  Web and Print.  18 Dec 2012.            

For additional information on this article, please contact:
Jennifer S. O'Reilly
Source: NPTAnews  

Tendenci™ User Home © 2004 Tendenci™ software by Schipul - "The Web Marketing Company" | www.schipul.com