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Patient Educ Couns. 1986 Sep;8(3):255-68.

An epidemiological approach to targeting drug information.


Reliance on pharmaceuticals for medial therapy, especially for chronic conditions in an aging society, poses important questions regarding patient's understanding of and adherence to their drug regimens. Related policy issues have been debated chiefly in the context of regulations administered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), such as the once proposed 'patient package inserts'. A population-based analysis of the distribution of health risks and drug utilization errors--including errors of omission--identifies a set of allocation issues for improving use of medications for public health as well as medical and pharmacy practice. These issues center particularly on channels and targets of drug information, including mass media, community and private medical practices, age and sex groupings within the patient and non-patient populations, and selected diseases, conditions and drugs requiring more attention. A conceptual framework for determining information needs is developed with recommendations for a combined public health and patient education strategy for the reduction of drug errors and the enhancement of drug benefits.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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