New prescription program helps Lowcountry patients take medicine

By Macey Lauren, Reporter
(Published by WTOC)

Did you know almost half of all patients do not take their medications as prescribed, and more than 70 percent of physicians may not know if their patients actually understand how to take them once they leave the office?

That’s according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the Lowcountry is no exception.

At the Greater Bluffton Jasper Volunteers in Medicine clinic, they say one of the biggest problems that they’re seeing is that patients may be putting themselves at risk by not taking their medication simply because they don’t understand how.

Family Nurse Practitioner Janice Holloway says this is something she continues to see. Patients neglect to take their medication because they cannot see or read the directions printed on pill bottles. This is especially common in elderly adults and those with diabetes and hypertension.

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So, she is leading a new prescription program at the clinic that uses pictures printed right on the bottle, using easy-to-understand symbols to explain when and how to take the medicine. She says this method is already proving to be successful for her patients.

“Making sure that patient knows how to take the medicine is the most important thing that we can do to make that patient be more compliant,” Holloway said. “The more compliant they are with taking their medicines, the more control they are going to have over their health problems.”

They are now pushing for these labels to become a universal practice, but they say you can always talk to your healthcare providers and pharmacists to get these added to your pills.