OHSU Pharmacists Offer Prescription Tips During National Pharmacy Week, Oct. 22-28

10/20/00    Portland, Ore.

Each year Americans spend more than $75 billion on prescription and non-prescription drugs. However, the improper use of medications due to a lack of knowledge costs the country $20 billion -100 billion per year. This fall OHSU pharmacists are attempting to improve safety for consumers while saving them money during National Pharmacy Week, Oct. 22-28. Currently there are approximately 190,000 pharmacists in the United States. Many times they are the most accessible health care providers for patients.

OHSU pharmacists offer the following tips to consumers:

Prescription Tips

  • Find a good pharmacist - Pharmacists should be well-trained in drug therapy and provide guidance when requested. Finding a good pharmacist is as important as finding a good doctor. If your pharmacist can't tell you what you want to know about your drugs, find a new one.
  • Consider prescriptions an investment in your health - Track the effectiveness of your medication. Decide whether the return is a reasonable value for the price.
  • Value the opinion of your pharmacist - As a trained professional, your pharmacist's opinions should outweigh those of advertisers or your friends. Recently drug manufacturers have begun to directly inform consumers of medications that are available. Only your physician and pharmacist can decide what is best for you.
  • Sometimes medication is not necessary - Nowadays many people believe there is a pill for every ill. This may not always be the case. Eating right, exercising regularly or simply maintaining a positive attitude often resolves health problems.
  • Generic drugs often can be better then newer brand name drugs - Generic drugs have repeatedly been shown to be just as effective as brand name drugs, for a much lower price. Just because a drug is new and advertised on TV does not mean that it is the best choice for you.
  • Consult your pharmacist before taking nonprescription medications. Many non-prescription medications are powerful and can, if taken improperly, interact with prescription medications or badly affect another health condition. Pharmacists also must be aware of a patient's allergies before suggesting a nonprescription medication.

Editor's note: For additional information, visit the Web site of the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists at www.pharmacyandyou.org.