Magazine article Drug Topics

The Many Sides of Medication Adherence

Magazine article Drug Topics

The Many Sides of Medication Adherence

Article excerpt

VIEWPOINT

On the first day of an elective pharmacy rotation in public health offered by Touro University I attended a California Board of Pharmacy meeting that addressed public health issues connected with medication adherence. Discussion revolved around proposed label changes such as spacing, a font size of at least 10 points, language that would be easily understood by the general public, and the availability at the Board of Pharmacy website of standardized label translations in 5 languages other than English. I was soon to learn how important these considerations are.

Standardized translations

October was national pharmacy month. During that time, I participated in 6 different health fairs. Each offered an insight into public health issues connected with medication adherence.

The first took place at the annual Chinatown Community Health Fair in San Francisco, where the need for standardized label translations was very apparent. Most attendees could speak and understand only Chinese, yet all the vial labels were written in English, Some of the patients had notations handwritten on their prescription labels in Chinese, Of the people who approached us, most wanted clarification on how to use their medications. Fortunately, some of my peers were fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese and provided adequate consultations.

Contributions to the healthcare team

The next event I attended was the quarterly Project Homeless Connect Health Fair in San Francisco, At the 1-day event, we provided medication consultations to patients and witnessed the concerted efforts made by medical professionals such as physicians, podiatrists, and medical and nursing students to provide help to the disenfranchised, and we saw the respect with which patients were treated. They were very appreciative.

The nurses and medical students also appreciated our presence at this event as we answered their many questions about indications, dosages, and usage directions for the medications dispensed.

Need for consultations

Along with representatives of the Marin County Pharmacy Association, I participated in the annual senior health fair in Marin.

Initially, most of the people who stopped by our booth appeared very "medication savvy. …

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