October 1, 2008

APhA Urges Consumers to Talk to Their Pharmacist During American Pharmacists Month (APhM)


Contact: Erin Wendel, [email protected], of American Pharmacists Association, +1-202-628-4410

Patients Encouraged to Keep Up-To-Date Medication Record

WASHINGTON,Oct. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- During American Pharmacists Month (APhM) in October, the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) is urging consumers to get to know their pharmacist as part of its "Know Your Medicine --- Know Your Pharmacist" campaign. According to an APhA survey nearly 70 percent of consumers do not know their pharmacist's name. During its campaign, APhA will underscore the link between knowing your pharmacist and the safe and effective use of medications, as well as the various patient care services available from pharmacists.

"Pharmacists are on the frontlines of helping patients get the most out of their medications," said John A. Gans, APhA's executive vice president and chief executive officer. "As our population ages, and more people become dependent on medications than ever before, pharmacists will play an increasingly prevalent role on the healthcare team and in improving medication use and advancing patient care."

When used safely, medications contribute to better health and to a longer and greater quality of life, but if taken improperly can cause serious harm. Something as simple as talking to your pharmacist can go a long way in protecting patients' health and preventing medication errors.

"The more information patients have the better able they are to prevent errors and take care of themselves," said Karen Reed, APhA member pharmacist and national campaign spokesperson. "APhA strongly suggests that consumers choose a pharmacist and establish a relationship with that pharmacist to maximize the benefits of medication therapy."

To ensure the safe and effective use of medications, APhA recommends seeking the expert advice of a pharmacist. Patients should ask the following questions before taking any type of medication --- particularly those who take multiple medications, dietary supplements and/or over-the-counter (OTC) medications.

-- When and how you should I take my medication? -- What should I do if I miss a dose?

-- Are there any potential side effects?

-- Will my medication(s) interact with other medications or food?

-- How do I safely dispose of unused medications?

APhA also recommends keeping an up-to-date list of the medications, herbal products and vitamins, including the time and dosage, as well as the conditions the medications treat. The list may provide emergency medical personnel with lifesaving information. As the medication experts, pharmacists have the knowledge and training to help patients safely and effectively use their medications. For more information on how to use medicines safely, visit www.pharmacist.com.

About the American Pharmacists Association (APhA)

The American Pharmacists Association, founded in 1852 as the American Pharmaceutical Association, represents more than 63,000 practicing pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, student pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and others interested in advancing the profession. APhA, dedicated to helping all pharmacists improve medication use and advance patient care, is the first- established and largest association of pharmacists in the United States. APhA members provide care in all practice settings, including community pharmacies, hospitals, long-term care facilities, managed care organizations, hospice settings, and the military.

SOURCE American Pharmacists Association

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