PHARMACY

Cardinal Health Foundation, The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy join forces to prevent prescription medication abuse

BY Allison Cerra

DUBLIN, Ohio The Cardinal Health Foundation has awarded The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy a $100,000 grant to create education and outreach programs that empower pharmacists, colleges and universities to fight prescription medication abuse and misuse in their communities.

With help from the financial grant, The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy will develop educational materials to help pharmacists and pharmacy students educate their communities about the dangers of prescription medication abuse and misuse; how to safely store and dispose of prescription medications; how to identify signs and symptoms that someone they love may be abusing or misusing medications; and action steps they can take to prevent this issue in their homes and communities. According to a 2007 survey by the Ohio Department of Health, more than 25% of all Ohio high school students have reported using a prescription medication without a doctor’s prescription.

Shelley Bird, EVP Cardinal Health and chairperson of the Cardinal Health Foundation, said “We know that in most communities, patients look to their neighborhood pharmacist as the trusted healthcare resource they visit most. The goal of this funding is to develop tools and resources that pharmacists and pharmacy students can use to improve the overall health of their communities by educating patients and peers about how to detect and prevent the abuse and misuse of prescription medications.”

After an initial pilot rollout among Ohio pharmacies, colleges and universities, Cardinal Health and The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy plan to make these educational materials available for use nationwide.

“When used as intended, prescription and over-the-counter medications are safe and can improve and save lives. However, when they are not taken as intended, these medications can lead to addictions, health problems and even death,” said Ken Hale, assistant dean for professional and external affairs at The Ohio Sate University. “With more Americans abusing prescription drugs than cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens and inhalants combined, it’s clear that more needs to be done to combat this growing societal issue. With support from the Cardinal Health Foundation, the programming that we are developing will help more Americans understand prescription medication abuse and how to prevent it.”

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Pleio’s medication adherence program yields positive results

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Pleio Health Support Systems announced Monday results of the Pleio GoodStart program, analyzing data from 1,776 patients taking a chronic cardiovascular medication between May 2008 and 2009 that showed patients refilled an average of two additional 30-day prescriptions during their initial nine-month period of taking the medication.

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Deloitte report: Pharmaceutical companies’ ‘patent cliff’ could bolster mergers, acquisitions

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NEW YORK A wave of acquisitions indicates a trend of consolidation in the drug industry, as companies seek ways to build up their research and development pipelines while reducing overhead costs, according to a report released Tuesday by professional services firm Deloitte.

One of the factors driving mergers is that drugs representing more than $74 billion in sales will lose patent protection by 2012, which many analysts have come to call the “patent cliff.”

“With so many rapidly changing dynamics – the patent cliff, healthcare reform and still-dry capital markets – the trends in life sciences industry consolidation are almost certain to continue with a growing emphasis on those deals with companies involved with late-stage developed compounds,” Deloitte & Touche partner Phil Pfrang said in a statement. “Healthy companies have good cause to pursue deals that promise faster revenue streams and profits.”

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