Oral Anticoagulant Education Campaign 

 Work Plan

April 2006


Objective:  To reduce unsafe medication interactions among those patients taking certain high-risk medications (e.g. oral anticoagulants) by educating consumers and other relevant stakeholders about risks and approaches for improving safety.


Summary:  A public education campaign will target consumers taking high-risk medications in the outpatient setting, as well as common prescribers and dispensers of these mediations.  The campaign will develop targeted messages to each of these constituent groups: it will inform patients that other medications and substances they may be taking (prescription, OTCs, dietary supplements, and herbals as well as food), could interact with the specified medication. Consumers will be provided with a framework for discussing the risk of interactions and the importance of monitoring with their doctor, pharmacist or other health care professional.  The campaign also will target providers and dispensers to 1) re-affirm the importance of interaction messages to patients, and 2) provide them with techniques that can be used to enhance awareness and message compliance among their patients.


A framework document setting forth background information on oral anticoagulants, and the plan for the campaign are posted on the SOS Rx website.  Bearing Point has been hired to conduct the consumer research to inform the development of the campaign.  This research will include interviews with experts on oral anticoagulants, and consumer and provider focus groups.  Harris Interactive has been hired to conduct surveys of patients, caregivers and providers on the barriers they face regarding safe use of oral anticoagulants. An advisory group from the coalition will help guide the research and campaign (see list of members below).  While oral anticoagulant is the drug of initial focus, the resulting campaign will be a template that could be customized and applied to education used for other high-risk medications. 


Point person:

Jill Pierce, American Medical Women’s Association Foundation.



1.      Background research (Complete)

a.       Confirm that oral anticoagulant is a drug with a high incidence of risks for seniors

b.      Confirm that some level of responsibility for reducing the risk of possible interactions associated with this drug lies with the consumer.

c.       Confirm the importance of monitoring patients on oral anticoagulants, especially if taking substances that can change the level of anti-coagulant in the blood stream.   

d.      Review similar or related current or recent education initiatives so as to avoid duplication of messages, especially of ones that have been less than successful.


2.      Consult experts (Complete)

a.       Medical experts, researchers will be consulted on the use of and risks associated with oral anticoagulants.

b.      Experts on patient/consumer behavior, as well as patient groups, will be consulted on what types of messages will be effective. 

c.       Health systems professionals will be consulted on the process of prescribing, educating, monitoring the targeted medication.

d.      Oral anticoagulant manufacturers will be notified and asked to participate in campaign.  Additionally, usage and education information from the manufacturer will be reviewed.


3.      Plan campaign (complete)

4.      Work with external consultant to develop clear framework and methodology for implementing the campaign: who, what, when, where, why.

                                                   i.      target audience

                                                 ii.      message content

                                                iii.      delivery method

                                               iv.      timeline for launch

                                                 v.      assessment/monitoring plan (if feasible)

b.      Ensure all the right people are at the table. Reach out to missing, necessary groups.

c.       Establish advisory group from the SOS Rx coalition to help guide the campaign


5.      Proceed with campaign development and focus groups and surveys (completed)


6.      Draft messages (completed)


7.      Launch campaign

Reach consumers who take oral anticoagulants and their caregivers, family members, healthcare providers, and health care system administrators through media coverage of campaign, PSAs, point-of-refill education, and other tools determined to be useful based on campaign research.


Media campaign:

Basic:  Press Release, radio media tour, NCL Web design and outreach help of coalition members, can also do outreach through other channels – such as member magazines/newsletters/Web sites/mailings, and distribution networks.


Budget: NCL has initial funding from Express Scripts, founding sponsor of SOS Rx, to conduct basic media work.  Depending on additional funding, more public education could be done.


Initial Timeline:

February/March 2004

  • Background research
  • Consult experts
    • Health professionals
    • Other healthcare resources


§             Report to full coalition on progress

§             Continue Research

§             Continue outreach


§              Develop framework document for campaign

§              Discuss with possible consultant

August / September  

§              Circulate framework document to all coalition members

§              Establish SOS Rx advisory workgroup for project 

§            Confirm consultant

October / November

§           Finalize work plan

§           Finalize consultant contract

December / January 2005

§             Begin qualitative research - Expert Interviews, Focus Groups

§             Consult with advisory group

February  - April 2005

§             Continue qualitative field research

§             Begin developing survey research

§             Draft report on qualitative research

May – August 2005

§             Survey research

§             Draft report on survey research

September – December 2005  

§             SOS Rx advisory group developing campaign plan and messages based on research

§             SOS Rx developing plan for delivery method of messages

January – March 2006

  • Draft messages for campaign
  • Finalize messages
  • Plan media launch

April – June 2006

  • Plan media launch
  • Seek coalition assistance in delivery of messages
  • Launch campaign





Oral Anticoagulant Education Campaign Advisory Group


Patricia Beatty-Gonzalez, American Heart Association

Bruce Boissonnault, Niagara Health Quality Association

Mona Bomgaars, American Academy of Family Physicians

Dan Budnitz, Centers For Disease Control

Ray Bullman, National Council on Patient Information Education

David Chen, American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists

Pam Foster, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Margaret Hawkins, AARP

Gail Hunt, National Alliance for Caregiving

Edith Nutescu, American College of Clinical Pharmacist

Jill Pierce, American Medical Women’s Association Foundation

Carla Saxton, American Society of Consultant Pharmacists

Ellen Shapiro, Food and Drug Administration

Barney Spivak, Connecticut Geriatrics Society

Terri Stewart, Barr Labbs 

Ed Weisbart, Express Scripts