WASHINGTON, Oct. 24, 2011 — So you get a prescription from the doctor. Do you take all of the medicine and keep taking it as the doctor ordered? Studies show that half of all patients do not, and for some conditions, the number of medication drop-outs is even higher. One of the main reasons: Patients cannot stand the side effects that go hand-in-hand with the good effects of some medicines.
A new episode in the 2011 edition of a popular video series from the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society, focuses on research that helped ease side effects of treatments for diseases that affect millions of people around the world: schizophrenia and cancer.
ACS encourages educators, schools, museums, science centers, news organizations and others to embed links to Prized Science on their websites. The videos discuss scientific research in non-technical language for general audiences. New episodes in the series, which focuses on ACS’ 2011 award recipients, will be issued in November and December.
“Science awards shine light on individuals who have made impressive achievements in research,” noted ACS President Nancy B. Jackson, Ph.D. “Often, the focus is on the recipients, with the public not fully grasping how the award-winning research improves the everyday lives of people around the world. The Prized Science videos strive to give people with no special scientific knowledge the chance to discover the chemistry behind the American Chemical Society’s national awards and see how it improves and transforms our daily lives.”
Helping People Stay on Their Medication features the research of John Lowe, Ph.D., winner of the 2011 ACS Award in Industrial Chemistry sponsored by the ACS Division of Business Development and Management and the ACS Division of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry. About 24 million people worldwide have schizophrenia, a debilitating mental illness with symptoms such as delusions and apathy. Schizophrenia drugs go a long way toward treating these symptoms, but they have side effects. Among them: unwanted weight gain, an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease and making involuntary movements. These side effects make many patients unwilling to continue treatment. Lowe and colleagues at Pfizer developed ziprasidone, or Geodon, which has fewer side effects than other schizophrenia drugs. In addition, his research led to the development of a drug called aprepitant, or Emend, which relieves nausea and vomiting in patients on cancer chemotherapy.
The ACS administers more than 60 national awards to honor accomplishments in chemistry and service to chemistry. The nomination process involves submission of forms, with winners selected by a committee consisting of ACS members who typically are technical experts in the nominee’s specific field of research