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Medical students

Have You Taken Your Meds Today?

We sat down with to chat with Melanie Rozum, third-year pharmacy student, who is leading this year’s Script Your Future Campaign at NEOMED.

NEOMED: What is Script Your Future?

MR: Script Your Future is a two-month national campaign sponsored by the National Consumers League that is dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of medical adherence – for people to take their medicine, as prescribed. Every year around 130 pharmacy schools across the country participate in Script Your Future to find new and creative ways to reach out to patients through media and face-to-face interactions. We work interprofessionally with other medical students and care providers, such as doctors and nurses, during the campaign. And we give prizes to people who come to our events!

NEOMED: The term for patients to take their medicine correctly is medical adherence. What exactly does that mean?

MR: Patients are prescribed medications for very specific reasons based on their diagnosis and their health conditions. When one stops taking their medicine, takes a different dose or forgets to take it, it (non-adherence) can be dangerous. Someone who doesn’t take their medication could have a heart attack or could end up in the hospital because they forgot.

Adherence means following the regimen that the physician recommends – like what time to take the medicine, whether you should take it with food, or avoiding foods that could interfere with the medicine’s effectiveness. If something is not working for the patient, it is appropriate for them to talk to their doctor or pharmacist.

The term for all this used to be compliance, which made it seem like the doctor was a dictator. I like the term adherence better. It reflects more of a relationship between the patient and physician.

NEOMED: How will attending a Script Your Future event benefit people?

MR: First, our events help raise awareness about problems that occur when people don’t fill their medications or take them as prescribed. You shouldn’t just take a medicine until you feel better. Sometimes people do that with antibiotics, but you should always complete the full dose. We encourage people to take their medication as written by their prescriber. If there is a problem, we encourage them to talk to their physician or pharmacist.

Second, at our events we equip people with the tools to adhere better. We encourage people to sign a Script Your Future pledge that they will take their medications. We help people write down their medications on wallet cards so that they have a list with them for medical appointments in case of emergency. We sign people up for text alerts with their pharmacies, so they get reminders of when their medication is ready for pick up or needs to be reordered. We’ve also passed out pillboxes so they have a safe place to keep their medications as well as remember to take them every day.

And remember, we give prizes!

NEOMED: When are your next public events?

MR: Here is a list of upcoming events:

Mondays: 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. | now – March 14 Sequoia Wellness Center

Wednesdays: 11 a.m. – noon |  now – March 16 Summa Health Center

Daily: noon – 2 p.m. | now – March 11 Ritzman Pharmacy at NEOMED