During the 2015 NABP Annual Meeting, held May 16-19, 2015, in New Orleans, LA, pharmacists were invited to help fight prescription drug abuse by taking the following pledge:
I, [insert your name], pledge that I will make a difference as a pharmacist and member of my community to help with the drug abuse epidemic. I will provide information about prescription drug abuse in my pharmacy, office, or other practice setting to make my patients and colleagues aware of the epidemic facing our nation and I will deal with prescription drug abuse as a pharmacist should by applying my knowledge, skills and experience. I will be involved. I will take action. I will be a pharmacist and save peoples’ lives!
– NABP President Ed McGinley, MBA, RPh
A variety of materials are available, both print and electronic, that offer advice for pharmacists on combating prescription drug abuse. Choose a subject from the list below.
- New Rules for Collecting Controlled Substances at Pharmacies and Long-Term Care Facilities
- Watching for the “Red Flags” of Diversion
- Posters, Flyers, and Presentations
- Pharmacy Robberies
- Federal Agency Resources
- Submit Suggestions
On October 9, 2014, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) released the final regulations to implement the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act. The regulations allow authorized non-law enforcement agencies to collect controlled substances provided they are DEA registrants and obtain approval to become authorized collectors. As state controlled substance laws vary, and DEA registrants need time to comply with the rule, please contact your pharmacy, law enforcement, municipality, or board of pharmacy to obtain state-specific information. Learn more about DEA's new rules on how pharmacies and long-term health care facilities can participate.
During NABP's 110th Annual Meeting, in Phoenix, AZ, the Association presented a video created in conjunction with the Anti-Diversion Industry Working Group, a consortium of pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors. Titled "Red Flags," the video uses real-life scenarios to educate pharmacists on how to identify the warning signs of prescription drug abuse and diversion when dispensing controlled substance prescriptions.
- Pharmacists can give their patients these flyers that AWARXE created that discuss rogue Internet drug sites (PDF) and properly disposing of medications (PDF).
- The Kansas State Board of Pharmacy published “Drug Disposal” in the March 2011 edition of its newsletter.
- The Oregon Board of Pharmacy surveyed over 4,800 Oregon pharmacists to assess pharmacists’ perceptions of their working environments as it affects safe practices. The Board shared the results, 2011 Oregon Board of Pharmacy Pharmacist Working Conditions Survey (PDF) at the NABP 108th Annual Meeting, May 19-22, 2012.
- Additionally, the National Institute on Drug Abuse created “Preventing and Recognizing Prescription Drug Abuse” for pharmacists, physicians, and other health care providers.
The Michigan Board of Pharmacy presented an educational poster, “Protect the Public—Inspect What You Expect in Michigan: A Board Member’s Guide to Differentiating Between Manufacturing and Compounding Pharmacy,” (PDF) during NABP’s 109th Annual Meeting. The poster explains the differences between manufacturing and compounding and sterile pharmaceutical compounding versus nonsterile pharmaceutical compounding.
Also, pharmacists can always feel free to contact their state boards of pharmacy for additional tips.
The prescription drug abuse epidemic has led to an increase in dangerous pharmacy robberies. RxPATROL (Pattern Analysis Tracking Robberies and Other Losses) is designed to gather and disseminate critical information to help protect pharmacists, guard against potential robberies, and assist law enforcement in their efforts to successfully apprehend and prosecute those involved in controlled substance pharmacy crime. RxPATROL is an initiative designed to collect, collate, analyze, and disseminate pharmacy theft intelligence to law enforcement throughout the nation. It also provides tools to pharmacies such as a security checklist and online training videos discussing pharmacy safety and security.
The Health Care Professionals section of Rx Safety Matters provides information on education resources, combating pharmacy theft, risk evaluation and mitigation strategies, and other topics for health care providers. Links to training videos and other educational materials are provided.
The following government agencies provide helpful information:
Drug Enforcement Administration
Food and Drug Administration
Environmental Protection Agency
Suggestions for additional content, resources, or topics for the Pharmacists page are welcome and may be sent by email to AWARErx@nabp.net.