A large number of organisations held events during Ask About Medicines Week, including PCTs, voluntary and charitable organisations, and community and hospital pharmacists, across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Ask About Medicines Week will involved GPs, pharmacists and nurses by encouraging them to listen to and discuss medicines with their patients – focusing on encouraging patients to understand what they are taking, what it’s for, and what they need to know about it. Posters were displayed in healthcare and other settings where local Ask About Medicines activities took place.
Centrally organised activities
1. Westminster launch
Ask About Medicines Week 2004 was launched by Lord Warner, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health (Lords), at a reception in Westminster on 1st November.
2. Specially commissioned MORI survey results announced
New survey results from interviews with over 2,000 members of the general public about their attitudes towards medicines, and medicines information, were announced.
3. Medicines Guides for Cholesterol Treatment
New electronic Medicine Guides on cholesterol medicine were launched (available through NHS Direct Online).
4. Health and Medicines Information Guide and Directory
This revised, updated and expanded edition of the popular guide contains advice for users on finding information on health and medicines. New this year is the on-line version, which includes a searchable directory of links to a range of independent sources of medicines information, support groups and helplines.
5. Ask About Cancer Medicines
This new guide, specially produced for Ask About Medicines Week with CancerBACUP, has been designed to enable people with cancer and their families or carers to be more involved in decisions about their treatment, by helping people with cancer and carers to ask questions about their cancer treatment.
6. Ask About Medicines Week helpline
A special local-rate helpline ran during Ask About Medicines Week 2004 to deal with people seeking advice and information about their medicines (eg side effects, taking medicines during pregnancy). Medicines information experts from the UK Medicines Information network were on hand during office hours through the week to support the delivery of this service throughout England (Monday 1 November to Friday 5 November, between 9am and 5pm). Online information was also be provided by NHS Direct Online to help people find out more about their medicines.
7. Credit-card sized Folding Medicines Chart
A credit-card sized folding chart, which opens out into a sheet that patients can use to keep a record of their medicines, including over-the-counter, complementary and alternative preparations. It was distributed through partner organisations before and during the week and was also available from a range of health outlets including pharmacies and doctors’ surgeries.