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NCPIE PATIENT INFORMATION PROGRAMS WILL BE USED AS A MODEL

Executive Summary

NCPIE PATIENT INFORMATION PROGRAMS WILL BE USED AS A MODEL by FDA Commissioner Young in his remarks at the World Health Organization (WHO) meeting on the "Rational Use of Drugs" in Nairobi, Kenya, on Nov. 26. Citing the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE) as an international example of "partnership between consumers, providers, government, industry, and educators," Young said he also will feature NCPIE materials in a U.S. health literature display at the WHO conference. Young addressed the 4th annual NCPIE meeting on Nov. 22, before his evening departure for Nairobi, and announced, "One of the issues that has been selected for our discussion ]in Nairobi[ is how groups of individuals inside, outside, and in collaboration with the government can get reliable patient information to the individual." A nonprofit organization concerned with communication between patients and health professionals about prescription medicines, NCPIE presented initiatives that related to important concerns of the FDA Commissioner. He referred to the newly launched "Get the Answers" campaign, a program now distributing information about prescription medicine to employees at worksites, saying that the "campaign is emphasizing to thousands of health professionals the information that they should be providing to patients." Special needs of the elderly was a major topic at the NCPIE conference, and in a prepared text handed out at the meeting, Young noted that "fewer than one-third of those in high-risk categories, such as the elderly, receive annual influenza vaccinations. . . And, although an improved vaccine against pneumococcal pneumonia is now available, this vaccine is not as widely used in the elderly population as it should be." The text continued that education on vaccination as a means of preventing illness would be a worthy item on NCPIE's agenda. During his speech, Young referred to the 1986 USP appendix, which lists all drugs labeled with precautions for use in the elderly. He said that FDA is writing guidelines for clinical testing of drugs in the elderly and endorsed NCPIE's encouragement of pharmacist and physician counseling about drug effects to their elderly patients. Spanish language information for the Hispanic community was another FDA concern Young highlighted. One project is a 24-hour Medication Information System developed in Miami through FDA and a local Hispanic planning board. University students in health-related fields are available to answer questions by telephone several hours each day, and taped medication information messages are available at the same telephone number for the remainder of the day.
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