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Doctors to give complete information on prescriptions to patients

A recent research by scientists at the University of California in Los Angeles reveals that in general, doctors give only 62% of the information to patients for them to take the medication properly. //

“This is a good indication that there is actually a lack of communication between patients and doctors,” said the lead author Derjung M. Tarn. The study is published in the Sept. 25 volume of the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

In order to find out if the five main points of information are being communicated to the patients, the researchers carried out at investigation on 185 outpatient visits to 44 physicians. The 5 key points are the name of the medication, the purpose for taking it, the duration of use, possible adverse effects and the number and frequency of doses.

The study revealed that at least one of the key points was missed by most of the patients. Doctors gave the name of the medication in 74% of new prescriptions; the purpose of it was elaborated in 87% of cases and the undesirable effects of it were discussed in 35% of the cases. The duration of medication was discussed in only 1/3rd of the cases, the number of tablets to be taken was told in 55% of the cases and the frequency or timing of the dos in 58%.

“Healthcare providers seemed to make more of an effort to convey information about analgesic and psychiatric medication, but compared to how doctors should do, that is not enough,” said Tarn. “Doctors should be able to hit all five points. If patients do not hear the information at the physician`s office, they may not get it elsewhere,” she added.

“A lot of this information is not on the package insert. And when that information is missing, patients may not take their medication appropriately, leading to medical errors and unnecessary hospitalizations,” she said.

According to a study released by the Institutes of Medicine in July over 1.5 million people are affected by
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