Cardiovascular disease ranks as the number one cause of death in America, yet many cardiac events may be preventable if people take their medication as directed.  In California, 1 in 4 adults have hypertension, including 1 in 3 African Americans.  Forty-nine percent of those diagnosed with the condition are not taking medicines to lower their blood pressure (California Department of Public Health’s Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program). Three out of four people with chronic conditions that require medication don’t take it as directed, costing Americans $290 billion each year.

As most people celebrate the most loving day of the year, Script Your Future and the California Society of Health-System Pharmacists (CSHP) would like to offer five tips to help people keep on track with their medication regimen:

  1. Out of site…Out of mind. Store your medicine in a safe, easily accessible place where you will see it every day (like next to your toothbrush!).
  2. Don’t be shy. Ask your pharmacist about what kind of side effects to expect, and how long they should last.
  3. Talk about it and don’t keep secrets. Call your doctor or pharmacist if you think your medicine is not working for you.  Sometimes heart conditions don’t have any symptoms before a heart attack or stroke.  Always tell your doctor or pharmacist if you stop taking your medication.
  4. Portable health record. Keep an updated list of your prescriptions, herbals, vitamins and over-the-counter medications in your wallet or purse. Share this with your doctor and pharmacist.
  5. Take Heart. Visit the Script Your Future Website at www.scriptyourfuture.org for free tools: medication lists, free text message reminders, sample questions for health care practitioners and fact sheets on common chronic conditions.

Founded in 1962, the California Society of Health-System Pharmacists (CSHP) is a professional society representing thousands of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, student pharmacists and associates to promote wellness, patient safety and the optimal use of medications.

Script Your Future is a nationwide medication adherence campaign led by the National Consumers League and supported by more than 100 private and public partners. Sacramento is one of six cities throughout the U.S. where more than 30 local organizations are partnering to raise awareness about the importance of medication adherence. Activities include health fairs, materials distribution, and community presentations.