This document summarises the findings of the evaluation exercises carried out for the Ask About Medicines Executive, and looks in particular at the lessons we have learned for future initiatives.
The first Ask About Medicines Week ran from 12 to18 October 2003. Its aim was to lay the foundation for lasting change by:
- Giving people opportunities to ask questions about medicines and encouraging better communication between health professionals and people taking medicine
- Influencing expectations so that asking questions about medicines becomes the norm
- Acting as a catalyst to improve the depth and quality of medicines information.
The campaign was timely and relevant because medicines play a key role in maintaining good health but are not always used to best effect.
- Up to 50% of medicines for long-term conditions are not taken as prescribed
- As many as 1 in 5 people choose not to take the first step of collecting a prescription from the pharmacy
- 30 – 45% of people don't pick up repeat prescriptions
- Many people on short-term medication depart from recommended doses within a day or two of starting treatment
- People's own views and beliefs about medicines are a key influence on whether, when and how they take their medicines
The full evaluation is available to download below.