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The University of Tennessee

UT Extension / Family and Consumer Sciences

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"Drugs don't work in patients who don't take them . . ."
- C. Everett Koop, MD, Former US Surgeon General


While issues regarding medication compliance have received attention for many years, the problems are compounding. Sales of non-prescription medications have increased by 60% since 1990. Direct-to-consumer advertising has exploded. The Internet also has increased the amount of information available to patients, although not always providing accurate information. Consumers are making medical decisions now more than ever before. At the same time, adverse drug reactions have been reported to be between the fourth (FDA) and eighth (IOM) leading cause of death in the United States. Tennesseans use more prescription drugs than other Americans.

Tennesseans need quality, accurate information to make wise decisions about medications at a time when medication problems and the use of medication as a daily lifestyle-activity are growing.

Medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, play a crucial role in maintaining good health. Today's medications achieve remarkable results in the treatment of common health problems such as a cold or headache and in the control and prevention of complications of chronic diseases. But even the best medications cannot produce the intended results if Tennesseans don't take them as directed by their doctor or on the label of over-the-counter medications.

About Our Medication Literacy Partnership:

Be MedWise Tennessee is a partnership with the National Council on Patient Information and Education, the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy, the Tennessee Poison Center and the University of Tennessee Extension.