California Pilot Program Creates Rx Fact Sheets, Ads to Inform Consumers

Educating consumers and providers about prescription medications

California Health Decisions developed a statewide, pilot education initiative called Healthcare 101: Choosing and Using Prescription Medicines.

Key Results

  • In "Physician Views and Values on Prescription Drugs," a report on an 18-minute telephone survey of 81 primary care physicians fielded in June 2001 by the Seattle-based firm Endresen Research, the project team reported the following findings:

    • Three-quarters of physicians said they were the most appropriate professionals to educate patients about prescription drugs.
    • Physicians estimate that two-thirds of patients understand everything they have been told about their medications and that two-thirds of patients comply with instructions about how and when to take their medications.
    • While two-thirds of physicians said patients would respond best to both written and oral information about their prescriptions, only one-third of doctors provide both.
  • Project staff developed 16 fact sheets and tools.

  • Interventions were designed to test the extent to which consumer education can change the way patients and providers talk about prescription medicine.

  • The coalition partner CalPERS, which provides health benefits for 1.3 million retired public employees, developed a seven-minute video, Healthcare 101: What You Should Know about Prescription Drugs, based on the California Health Decisions education tools.

  • Project staff developed four PSAs, from 20 to 60 seconds long.