Many people do not take their medicines as prescribed, and medicines can cause harm if not used appropriately. In addition, in most health systems there is increasing discussion about involving patients in decisions about their health – including decisions about the medicines they use. In addressing these issues, medicine information for patients can play a key role in supporting patients to get the best out of their medicines. For the information to work, it needs to be both accessible and understandable – this is easy to say, but less easy to put into practice. This article draws on research and practice to help answer the questions:
Why is medicines information for patients so important?
What sort of medicines information do people want?
How can we write and deliver such information?