2005: The 3Rs for Safe Medicine Use

Message for Healthcare Professionals
Ideas for Observing "Tap" Month
Ordering Your Educational Resources
Questions to Ask With a New Prescription Medicine
TAP Poster

Welcome to the National Council on Patient Information and Education's (NCPIE) 20th annual observance of “Talk About Prescriptions” Month. This national consumer and healthcare provider awareness and educational campaign was developed to focus attention on the role that high-quality medicine communication can play in promoting safe and appropriate medicine use. Whether you represent or work in a healthcare professional organization, community-based service organization, senior center, library, major corporation, or small business setting, there are lots of ways for your group or organization to "Talk About Prescriptions" during October and all year long.

This year’s “Talk About Prescriptions” Month theme is The 3Rs for Safe Medicine Use. This timely theme focuses on the following key safe medicine use messages for consumers and healthcare providers:

  • Risk — recognize that all medicines (prescription and nonprescription) have risks as well as benefits; and you need to weigh these risks and benefits carefully for every medicine you take.
  • Respect — respect the power of your medicine and the value of medicines properly used.
  • Responsibility — take responsibility for learning about how to take each medication safely. Being responsible also means following this important rule: when in doubt, ask first. Your healthcare professional can help you get the facts you need to use medicines correctly.

Each year since 1986, "Talk About Prescriptions" Month campaigns across the country build on the successes of previous efforts and the growing awareness about the positive impact that high quality communication between consumers and their healthcare providers can have on safe medicine use and better health outcomes. Whether this is your first "Talk About Prescriptions" Month campaign or you are building on your activities from previous campaigns, the special events and activities you plan or hold in October 2005 make an important contribution to raising awareness about issues related to safe medicine use and its impact on patients, family members, and caregivers of people who use medicine as part of their treatment regimen.

You will find everything you need in this online planning kit to prepare for your "Talk About Prescriptions" Month events and activities. We've included materials tailored to key audiences or constituent groups, with steps to improve safe medicine use, customizable templates of media outreach materials that you can use to publicize your events, and suggestions for educating your community about safe medicine use. Using these materials, here are some suggestions you can use to plan and launch an effective "Talk About Prescriptions" Month campaign:

  • Target two or three constituent groups in your community, such as consumers and health care providers, whom you believe will benefit most from your campaign.
  • Select and plan activities/events that involve these audiences. 
  • Publicize your event(s) in advance by customizing the media outreach materials provided in this planning toolkit and distributing them to your local media outlets, and by sharing your activities with BeMedWise so that we can post your event(s) on the "Talk About Prescriptions" Month Web site.

HOW TO GET STARTED - The resources included in this section can help you plan your "Talk About Prescriptions" Month activities. The materials listed below provide background information, and tips and ideas for a successful campaign. Some materials also may be appropriate for distribution to members of the media. These materials include:

MEDIA OUTREACH - Here you will find event ideas and materials to help you generate local media interest in your "Talk About Prescriptions" Month activities. Please refer to these documents for instructions on when and how to use them, as well as suggestions on how to tailor the information to your events. These materials include:

“Talk About Your Medicines” Month Archive