A POLITICIAN is backing a campaign highlighting the importance of taking prescribed medication as directed by doctors.
Easington MP Grahame Morris is supporting the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) initiative.
The charity said research showed that 29 per cent of people in the North East have returned medicines without using them and 25 per cent have thrown them away, putting their heart health at risk.
The statistics prompted the BHF to launch its Just Like That campaign, featuring the late comedian Tommy Cooper, urging people with heart problems, high cholesterol and high blood pressure to take their medications.
Nearly 60 per cent of people in the North East have high cholesterol and more than 30 per cent have high blood pressure.
These conditions are known as invisible killers because they do not have symptoms – but left untreated slowly damage blood vessels in the heart and make it easier for potentially-deadly clots to form, causing a heart attack or stroke.
Mr Morris said: “The nation’s heart charity is raising awareness of a very important issue and anyone who is worried about their medication should give the charity’s friendly and qualified nurses a call for support and guidance.
“I hope this campaign is successful in helping my constituents take Tommy’s catchphrase to heart and they take their medicines, ‘just like that’.”
The BHF is asking anyone struggling with their medication to phone its nurses via its Heart Helpline on 0300 333 1 333, or visit bhf.org.uk/tommy.