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Talk to Your Pharmacist Month

Friday, March 30, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Shannon Glaittli
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Overview

May 2018 is Talk to Your Pharmacist Month in Utah. This marks the first time for the designation and is in direct response to the increase in opioids dispensed and the number of deaths from opioids.
As health care providers, pharmacists play a vital role in prevention efforts and educating patients about the risks of opioids, signs of an opioid overdose, naloxone use, and safe storage and disposal of prescription opioids.

From 2002 to 2015, there was a 29.4 percent increase in the rate of prescription opioids dispensed, equating to nine opioid prescriptions for every 10 Utahns. Given the high number of deaths associated with prescription opioids, understanding the risks of opioids is vital to patient safety. The risks include physical dependency, addiction, or overdose. Overdose can take place even when using an opioid as directed, especially if taken with other medications such as benzodiazepines, alcohol, or sleep aids. Through focus groups, the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) found that many Utahns are unaware of which medications are opioids or the risks associated with taking them.

In addition, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is holding its annual Drug Take Back Day Saturday, April 28, 2018. This is an opportunity for the public to clean out their medicine cabinets and take their unused, unwanted, or unneeded prescription medicines for safe disposal at a DEA designated location.

Purpose

The purpose of Talk to Your Pharmacist Month is to encourage pharmacists to start a conversation with patients who have been prescribed an opioid. Pharmacists will place stickers on bottles of opioids and talk about the risks of opioids, signs of an overdose, naloxone, and safe storage and disposal of prescription opioids.

Law

During the 2018 General Session of the Utah State Legislature law was passed requiring pharmacist to warn patients about the risks of taking opioids. General Session of the Utah State Legislature requiring pharmacies to warn patients of the dangers of opioids. House Bill 399 Titled: Opioid Abuse Prevention and Treatment Amendments: Requires a warning label and informational pamphlet be distributed with an opiate prescription. The Department of Health shall produce and distribute a pamphlet about opiates. For more information on this bill le.utah.gov/~2018/bills/static/HB0399.html

You can access the pdf Talk to Your Pharmacist Toolkit HERE

 


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