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9/6/2000
Press Release

ASHP Introduces the Pharmacist's Guide to Your Medication

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) has just published The Pharmacist’s Guide to Your Medication, a new expert resource that helps Americans use their medications safely and effectively. The guide will be available in June 2000 at bookstores nationwide and via online booksellers such as Amazon.com.

Written by the country’s foremost pharmacy practitioners and experts and backed by ASHP’s extensive library of drug information resources, The Pharmacist’s Guide to Your Medication ($14.95) offers more than 700 medication listings, including detailed information about the 200 medications most often prescribed. Also included is information on cancer-fighting drugs and intravenous medications frequently prescribed for home use.

Each page features the generic and brand name of the medication, information about how the drug should be used, special precautions that should be followed, dietary instructions, common side effects, and storage information.

"ASHP is excited to offer consumers this new resource," said Society President Bruce E. Scott, M.S. "It is the first publication we have made available to consumers, and it will provide them with a reliable reference to use when they want quick information about their medications."

In conjunction with the release of the guide, ASHP conducted a series of surveys to determine how consumers find health and medical information, and whether or not they feel it is sufficient.

According to a phone survey of more than 1,000 Americans, one-third of respondents (30 percent) said they do not believe that the supplemental materials that typically accompany prescription medication provide enough information about drug interactions. Less than half (47 percent) "strongly agree" that these leaflets are helpful.

In addition, when looking for health information, 49 percent of survey respondents said that they would turn to a pharmacist for health information. More than half the respondents (54 percent) said they would most trust a book authored by a non-profit association of pharmacists.

"Our research shows that a majority of Americans are concerned about the prescription medications they take," said Scott. "Though we recommend that patients always speak directly with a pharmacist or physician about medication concerns, The Pharmacist’s Guide to Your Medication can provide quick and concise overviews. Consumers can be assured that they are receiving up-to-date, accurate drug information."

ASHP is the 30,000-member national professional association that represents pharmacists who practice in hospitals, health maintenance organizations, long-term facilities, home care, and other components of health care systems. ASHP, which has a long history of medication-error prevention efforts, believes that the mission of pharmacists is to help people make the best use of their medications. Assisting pharmacists in fulfilling this mission is ASHP’s primary objective. The Society has extensive publishing and educational programs designed to help members improve their delivery of pharmaceutical care, and is the national accrediting organization for pharmacy residency and pharmacy technician training programs. The Society also publishes AHFS Drug Information, a comprehensive resource widely recognized by physicians, pharmacists, dentists, nurses, and other health care professionals as the premier source of complete drug information.