Press release

For Immediate Release
September 23, 2005
Contact: Deborah Davidson
(301) 340-3940, x. 15


3R’s for Safe Medicine Use Highlights Risk Communication
NCPIE Coalition works to improve dialogue / promote safe medicine use.


Bethesda, MD: Americans spend over $220 billion a year to purchase over 3 billion prescriptions. An additional $177 billion is spent to address problems triggered by those same medications. To help combat the consequences of medication misuse, the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE), today launched the 3R’s for Safe Medicine Use program.

“Too many times, people misuse medications, either by not following proper use instructions, or not taking them as directed by their physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant”, said Phillip Schneider, NCPIE Chairman. “This misuse often leads to other health problems. That’s why NCPIE is launching the 3R’s for Safe Medicine Use program.”

A recent increase in media coverage about medication risks and safety may have caused confusion in the minds of some consumers. NCPIE’s 3R’s for Safe Medicine Use program encourages consumers to talk to their healthcare providers about the benefits and risks of medicine prescribed for them. "Consumers will be better equipped to make key decisions regarding their health problems and medicines once they have evaluated important information and discussed the key points with their health care professionals," noted Ray Bullman, NCPIE Executive Vice President.

NCPIE’s 3R’s for safe Medicine Use program focuses on the following key safe medicine use messages:

  • Risk - recognize that all medicines (prescription and nonprescription) have risks as well as benefits; 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.

Underlying the 3Rs is this important rule —when in doubt, ask first. Your healthcare professional can help you get the facts you need to use medicines correctly.

Launch of the 3R’s for Safe Medicine Use program kicks off NCPIE’s 20th national "Talk About Prescriptions" Month. Educational materials to support participation in the annual observance are posted on NCPIE’s web site . Medicine users are also encouraged to make the most of the written consumer medicine information (CMI) leaflet that accompanies each prescription medicine. NCPIE’s advice - “Read it, & Heed It.”

Organized in 1982, The National Council on Patient Information (NCPIE) is a non-profit coalition of over 125 organizations committed to stimulating and improving communication between consumers and health care professionals about the safe and appropriate use of medicines. In addition to sponsoring “Talk About Prescriptions” Month (, NCPIE hosts the “Be MedWise” campaign promoting wise use of over-the-counter medicines ( .

“Talk About Your Medicines” Month Archive