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SOS Rx: National medication safety group organized

Washington DC--The nation's oldest consumer advocacy organization today announced the launch of SOS Rx, a national healthcare coalition promoting the safe use of medications. The coalition, run by the National Consumers League, includes participation by more than 60 consumer and patient safety organizations, physician, pharmacist, caregiver, and employer groups, and government. The coalition's purpose is to make the outpatient use of medications safer, especially for senior citizens. Today the coalition launched its online home, www.sosrx.org, which will provide information for consumers about upcoming educational campaigns on topics ranging from the safe use of anticoagulants to the advantages of e-prescribing and the benefits of maintaining a personal medication record.

"There is a safety gap in our healthcare system and in useful information for the consumer who may be taking several medications," said Linda Golodner, NCL president. "Every consumer needs to be aware of risks, including prescribing errors and dangerous interactions, and how a lack of doctor-patient communication can adversely impact health or the health of your family. SOS Rx provides an extraordinary opportunity for an alliance of concerned partners to search for answers and positively affect both consumers and the system as a whole." Members of SOS Rx include consumer and patient safety organizations, accrediting bodies, groups representing physicians, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, caregivers, and employers, and the government. (See below for full list of current members.) Dozens of other organizations, foundations, and private companies participate in workshops and meetings.

"Consumers face enormous challenges when they enter the health care arena as either patients or caregivers," said Lucian Leape, Harvard School of Public Health. "The members of SOS Rx are committed to arming consumers with the information they need to successfully navigate
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Contact: Carol McKay or Mark Fernando
media@nclnet.org
202-835-3323
National Consumers League
6-Apr-2004


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