Grassroots campaign to promote Rx drug risk awareness

A grassroots coalition of healthcare advocates gearing up to launch a campaign intent on creating awareness about the risks and benefits of prescription drugs. The effort, dubbed “Just Say Know to Prescription Drugs,” will launch on Oct. 7, at a press conference in Washington, DC, and be followed by an online push to have one million patients download a form to bring to their prescribing physicians to evaluate the drugs they are recommended. Using the provided form, patients will be able to collect risk/benefit information and require a physicians’ signature attesting the patient has been fully informed of side effects and non-drug alternatives. “We are interested in people being informed about being better patients and being able to give informed consent,” said Domminick Riggio, psychologist and executive director of the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology, a group participating in the campaign. “We feel that most consumers don’t get the opportunity to make this risk/reward decision.” Riggio added that, most of the time, doctors are getting slanted information from sales reps instead of “real research.” Calls to pharmaceutical industry trade group PhRMA requesting comment for this story went unreturned at press time.