Since October is National Pharmacists month, some pharmacy students at SDSU are taking advantage of the month by taking part in a national campaign called "Script Your Future". Nancy Naeve Brown tells us it's about making sure patients are following Doctors orders when taking their medicine. A third of all hospitalizations could have been avoided if the patient would have taken their medications as directed. Meet one man who does adhere.
David Swenson has become a really good customer here at the Avera Specialty Pharmacy on the Avera McKennan campus. This Beaver Creek, Minnesota man says when you are taking as many medications as he is; these pharmacists have in turn become really good resources for him.
David says, "I have Waldenstrom's Macroglobulinemia. It's a bone marrow & blood cancer. It is body wide, non-curable, slow growing easy to maintain and behind me."
His rare cancer also left him with a number of peripheral illnesses requiring 6 prescribed medications, plus he takes 9 more over-the-counter supplements. 15 pills is a lot to keep track of throughout the day and that's why Avera Pharmacist Brittney Meyer wants to use him as a good example. As an Assistant Professor at SDSU's College of Pharmacy Brittney and her students are taking part in a national campaign this month to get the word out on the importance of medication adherence. She says the biggest problem is people not taking their meds.
Brittney says, "If for any reason you don't want to take your medication, it's too expensive, you are afraid of the side effects or experiencing side effects it's important not to just stop taking it but discuss with your doctor and come up with a new solution, a new medication. It's important conversation to have with your pharmacist."
If you take over the counter supplements like Vitamin E it's important to note that it could thin your blood if you take it in excess it's yet another reason to talk to your pharmacist.
David says, "Each time I get my prescription filled there is printed information on it to remind me why I'm taking the medicine and what not to take it with. If I have to space it out. I've learned by thyroid medication can't be taken with a lot of cholesterol medication. My Crestor will negate the thyroid uptake. That's not good. I've also learned it's best to take my Crestor at night for maximum absorption."
It is estimated that 3 out of 4 patients don't take their medications as directed. David is the lone one who does. He knows it's important if he wants to stay healthy and out of the hospital to tell his doctor about all the supplements he's taking, follow their instructions and if he has questions ask.
David says, "I want to enjoy the free ride around the sun."
And his Avera Pharmacists want that ride to be as smooth as possible.
Sioux Falls Hy-Vee on 49th and Louise near the Empire Mall will be having two flu shot clinics where SDSU Pharmacy students will be participating and educating patients on the importance of medication adherence.
These will be Friday, October 7 from 8 am-12 pm
and Wednesday, October 12 from 4:30-8:30 pm.