SOS Rx: National Medication Safety Group Organized.
"There is a safety gap in our healthcare system and in useful information for the consumer who may be taking several medications," said Linda Golodner, NCL president. "Every consumer needs to be aware of risks, including prescribing errors and dangerous interactions, and how a lack of doctor- patient communication can adversely impact health or the health of your family. SOS Rx provides an extraordinary opportunity for an alliance of concerned partners to search for answers and positively affect both consumers and the system as a whole."
Members of SOS Rx include consumer and patient safety organizations, accrediting bodies, groups representing physicians, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, caregivers, and employers, and the government. (See below for full list of current members.) Dozens of other organizations, foundations, and private companies participate in workshops and meetings.
"Consumers face enormous challenges when they enter the health care arena as either patients or caregivers," said Lucian Leape, Ph.D., Harvard School of Public Health. "The members of SOS Rx are committed to arming consumers with the information they need to successfully navigate the system and maintain and improve their own health."
"AHRQ is proud to be a member of SOS Rx, a unique coalition that is bringing everyone to the table -- patients, advocates, providers, and industry -- to produce real changes in the health care system," said Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D. "AHRQ's commitment to patient safety research, especially in the area of safe medication use, is intended to provide the kinds of tools needed to help make those changes a reality."
SOS Rx is initially funded by an unrestricted educational grant from founding sponsor Express Scripts (ESRX). "Express Scripts' mission is to make the use of prescription drugs safer, as well as more affordable, so we're very pleased to collaborate with the National Consumers League in launching SOS Rx with the support of such a wide range of organizations committed to greater safety," said Barrett Toan, chief executive officer of Express Scripts.
SOS Rx Campaigns
The SOS Rx coalition's work is two-tiered, aiming to produce both behavior changes in consumers through education efforts and institutional changes within the health care system through advocacy.
* Consumer Education: This fall, SOS Rx will embark upon a comprehensive educational effort targeting consumers' use of high-risk drugs, such as warfarin (a blood thinner used to treat or prevent blood clots), that are associated with high numbers of adverse drug events. Consumers will be informed that other medications and substances they may be taking -- prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, dietary supplements and herbals, as well as food -- could dangerously interact with their prescribed medication. * Healthcare System Advocacy: SOS Rx is currently exploring the most effective ways to promote system-wide changes, including: * The creation of a clearinghouse of safe practices for high-risk situations related to outpatient medication. The clearinghouse will be a comprehensive dynamic resource to which healthcare professionals can turn for guidance on safe practices to be followed when prescribing certain medications. The clearinghouse would contain consumer-friendly versions of the safe practices. A component of the clearinghouse activities will be linkages to similar activities and programs. * The development and promotion of a personal medication record, a self-recorded list of prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines, and dietary supplements, which would provide an essential tool for consumers to take a strong role in partnering with their health care providers. By convening expert panelists, creating a template for personal medication records, and ultimately, outreach to consumers about the importance of maintaining a personal medication record, SOS Rx will encourage its widespread adoption. * Accelerating the adoption of e-prescribing by establishing guiding principles and a standard for e-prescribing. An ideal e-prescribing model will be developed and promoted to health care professionals. A public education campaign will educate consumers about e-prescribing. SOS Rx Coalition As of today, the members of SOS Rx coalition include: Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Alliance for Aging Research American Academy of Family Physicians American Academy of Nurse Practitioners American Academy of Physician Assistants American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy American Benefits Council American Medical Women's Association Foundation American Pharmacists Association American Society of Consultant Pharmacists American Society of Health-System Pharmacists AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP Center for Information Therapy Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Group Insurance Commission Connecticut Geriatrics Society Department of Defense, Military Health System, Pharmacoeconomic Center Employers' Coalition on Health Express Scripts Four Rivers Health Care Purchasing Alliance Institute for Safe Medication Practices Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations Massachusetts Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors Medco Health Solutions, Inc. Medical Records Institute The Medstat Group National Alliance for Hispanic Health National Alliance of Caregiving National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation National Business Coalition on Health National Consumers League The National Council on the Aging National Council on Patient Information and Education National Family Caregivers Association National Health Council National Health Policy Group National Patient Safety Foundation National Quality Forum New Jersey Healthcare Quality Institute Niagara Health Quality Coalition Pharmacy Care Alliance Rite Aid Safe Med, Inc. South Central Michigan Health Alliance Visiting Nurse Associations of America Visiting Nurse Service of New York Walgreens
For more information about SOS Rx, visit http://www.sosrx.org/, or contact the communications department of the National Consumers League at email@example.com or 202-835-3323.
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to identify, protect, represent, and advance the economic and social interests of consumers and workers. NCL is a private, nonprofit membership organization. For more information, visit http://www.nclnet.org/.
CONTACT: Carol McKay or Mark Fernando of The National Consumers League, +1-202-835-3323, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site: http://www.nclnet.org/ http://www.sosrx.org/
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|Date:||Apr 6, 2004|
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