Walgreens to customers: Protect your Rxs from Hurricane Earl
DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens is offering safety tips to East Coasters dealing with Hurricane Earl.
Walgreens is a member of ICERx.org (In Case of Emergency Prescriptions), a secure prescription information network available to pharmacists and doctors during a national emergency. As members, Walgreens pharmacists can fill prescriptions and access information for hurricane-affected patients even if the patient normally uses another pharmacy.
The drug store chain also offered the following tips to customers:
- If you evacuate, get to a safe location first and refill your medication at a pharmacy there. This allows you to avoid potentially long lines at your local pharmacy, and you won’t needlessly delay your evacuation. Patients can find the nearest store by calling 1-800-WALGREENS or going to Walgreens.com;
- Take a waterproof bag with your current medication — even if the bottle is empty. The information on the bottle label will help the pharmacist refill your medicine once you arrive at your destination. Heat, humidity and sunlight can degrade the effectiveness of medicine, so try to protect it from extreme weather conditions;
- Keep a written record of your current prescriptions in your valuable papers file. If you’re taking several prescription drugs, it’s an especially good idea to keep a record of your current dosage and doctor’s contact information. Walgreens patients can register online at Walgreens.com and print out this information directly from their patient profile; and
- Users of Web-enabled cell phones also can register for Walgreens mobile applications to conveniently order prescription refills while on the go and easily locate the nearest Walgreens pharmacy. For registration or more information on Walgreens mobile applications, visit Walgreens.com/GoMobile.
FDA to discuss concerns over medicines with DXM
SILVER SPRING, Md. The Food and Drug Administration last week issued an information packet in preparation for a Sept. 14 advisory committee meeting that will address the potential abuse of dextromethorphan products and whether restrictions should be placed on the sale of those over-the-counter cough medicines.
Members of both the FDA Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee and the FDA Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee will be in attendance at the public meeting.
Included in the 135-page packet is a Drug Enforcement Agency summary of that agency’s concerns over the abuse potential of DXM, a list of substances included as part of the Controlled Substances Act, the approval history and OTC monograph of DXM, abuse-related pharmacology reports, a clinical perspective in the treatment of cough, drug utilization data, Drug Abuse Warning Network data, adverse event reports and a review of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association’s website designed to raise awareness among parents and school authorities around the abuse of nonprescription medicines. According to the docket, the CHPA actively has engaged parents and other groups around effective methods in preventing abuse of OTCs and other medicines since May 2006.
“CHPA does not believe scheduling of dextromethorphan under the Controlled Substances Act is warranted,” the association stated in a 93-page briefing book available to meeting attendees. “The prevalence and scope of reported abuse is limited. CHPA believes that there are more effective interventions to address OTC cough medicine abuse in general, and dextromethorphan abuse in particular, that preserve the significant public health benefit of consumer OTC access to these important cough medicines.”
The abuse of DXM products has been the focus of two previous FDA advisory committees. In August 1990, an advisory committee was convened as a result of reports of abuse of DXM containing cough syrups by teenagers in areas of Pennsylvania and Utah. The committee was asked to help the FDA develop a strategy for assessing the problem and discuss possible solutions. The committee recommended that the sponsor provide additional data on the toxicity of the substance in the higher dose range, and that additional epidemiological data be gathered so that the FDA could better assess the scope and significance of abuse, and the risk to the public health.
In July 1992, the committee reconvened and discussed several proposed epidemiological studies on DXM abuse, including conducting a national survey from interviews with drug-free school coordinators, and evaluating attitudes and behaviors of potential and actual DXM abusers and how they might be affected by an abuse prevention program.
“Although no clear consensus on the extent of the problem or solutions came out of this meeting, there was a general recognition, in this early pre-Internet era, that outbreaks of abuse occurred in small communities, that the DXM abuse problem had not risen yet to the national level and further studies should focus on areas where abuse outbreaks are occurring,” the report, issued by Michael Klein, director of the FDA’s controlled substance staff, read.
NCPA launches PharmacyMatching.com
ALEXANDRIA, Va. In an effort to connect independent pharmacy owners looking to sell their pharmacies and those who seek to purchase them, the National Community Pharmacists Association launched a new website that unites the two.
PharmacyMatching.com helps pharmacists navigate every step of the entrepreneurial process from buying to selling a pharmacy, as part of the association’s focus on increasing the number of independent community pharmacy owners throughout the country, NCPA said.
“Now more than ever, the future of community pharmacy depends on the successful transition of ownership to independent owners,” said NCPA president and pharmacy owner Joseph Harmison. “NCPA wants to be independent pharmacy’s source for matching buyers and sellers to keep independents independent.”