Pharmacists' Pledge: Fighting Prescription Drug Abuse
During the 2015 NABP Annual Meeting, held May 16-19, 2015, in New Orleans, LA, pharmacists were invited by incoming NABP President Ed McGinley to help fight prescription drug abuse by taking a pledge. The pledge is intended to encourage pharmacists to reach out to their community in an effort to prevent prescription drug abuse. Pledge to take your knowledge, skills, and experience to another level!
Live the Pledge
Need ideas on how to become more involved and implement the pledge? Learn how to fight prescription drug abuse in your community.
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
- Canadian Online Pharmacies Shipping into the US
- Watching for the “Red Flags” of Diversion
- Pharmacy Robberies
- Federal Agency Resources
- NABP Resources
- Treatment Resources and Abuse Prevention
- Flyers and Presentations
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 (CS) provided they are DEA registrants and obtain approval to become authorized collectors. As state CS laws vary, and DEA registrants need time to comply with the rule, please contact your 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.
Though patients in the United States may be tempted to purchase medications from Canadian Internet drug outlets because the medications are often lower in cost, it is important to remind them that federal law prohibits non-US pharmacies from shipping prescription medicines into the US. This is because medications that are not approved by the US FDA may not be sold or shipped into the US.
Please keep in mind that rogue online pharmacies know that US citizens are more likely to trust online Canadian pharmacies, so they pretend to be based in Canada when in fact they could be based anywhere in the world. To learn more, visit Spotting a Rogue Online Pharmacy.
To find safe and affordable prescription medications, take a look at this flyer, which can be found in the last paragraph of the Acquire Safely page and be printed to distribute to your patients.
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.
Or view the Red Flags Video on YouTube.
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 collect, collate, analyze, and disseminate critical information to law enforcement throughout the nation, help protect pharmacists, and guard against potential robberies. This program helps law enforcement in their efforts to successfully apprehend and prosecute those involved in controlled substance pharmacy crime. 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 education and resources about 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 Office of Diversion Control
- Food and Drug Administration
- Environmental Protection Agency
NABP offers several programs and services addressing prescription drug abuse, medication safety, counterfeit medications, and rogue Internet drug outlets.
NABP PMP InterConnect facilitates the secure transfer of prescription monitoring program (PMP) data across state lines and on a national scale, enhancing the ability of PMPs to fight drug diversion and prescription drug abuse. PMPs in 30 states have currently deployed NABP InterConnect to PMP users who are now able to securely exchange PMP data. A total of 31 states have signed on to participate in the NABP InterConnect and discussions are ongoing with additional states.
PMPs assist states in fighting prescription drug abuse by collecting information about controlled substance prescriptions and other drugs of concern. Depending upon state laws, certain authorized users may view PMP data to assist with prescribing and dispensing decisions. Such data can allow health care providers to identify and offer help to patients who may be misusing or abusing medications.
.Pharmacy is a Top-Level Domain (TLD) that is owned and operated by NABP. Today, the vast majority of websites selling prescription drugs online are doing so illegally – many of them selling unapproved, substandard, and counterfeit medicine. The fact is, many of these sites are not legitimate, licensed pharmacies. NABP has reviewed more than 11,000 Internet drug outlets selling prescription medications and found 96% to be out of compliance with United States pharmacy laws and practice standards that protect the public health.
NABP established the TLD program to provide consumers with an easy way to identify safe online pharmacies and resources. Consumers purchasing from .pharmacy sites can be assured that the medications they buy are safe. NABP will ensure that all registrants within the .pharmacy TLD are vetted prior to registration to confirm that they meet all applicable regulatory standards, including pharmacy licensure, drug authenticity, and valid prescription requirements, in the jurisdictions where they are based and where they serve patients.
Through model language for state pharmacy practice regulations, special task forces, and resolutions, NABP provides guidance and support to its member boards of pharmacy. NABP and its member boards share a mission to protect public health. The documents linked below provide insights into some issues NABP and its member boards have recently addressed. Click the sub-headers below for links to more information.
- Model State Pharmacy Act and Model Rules of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy
- Task Force Reports
The following initiatives help those who are addicted or their loved ones:
SAMSHA Treatment Locator - Online locator for treatment centers and drug abuse information.
The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids - Provides parents with resources for preventing and treating teen drug abuse.
The Pharmacists Recovery Network can help you or a colleague get help if prescription drug abuse is taking place.
Additionally, learning where to find medication disposal programs can also help keep patients and their loved ones safe. AWARxE and NABP offer programs to help with all these.
If you would like more information about preventing abuse, take a look at the How to Get Help web page.
You can download flyers by AWARXE to give to your patients or members of your community.
- Safe Disposal: Why It’s Important
- Medication Safety Tips
- Internet Pharmacies and You
- Prescription Drug Use: Learn the Facts
To receive a PowerPoint presentation and talking points about prescription drug misuse and abuse, please contact AWARXE at email@example.com.