Wednesday, October 7, 2009

American Pharmacists Month: Know Your MEDICINE, Know Your Pharmacist

American Pharmacists Month is October and the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) is using the theme of “Know Your MEDICINE, Know Your Pharmacist” as it core message for the month.

One of the APhA’s objectives for the month is - To stress the importance of Knowing Your Medicine and Knowing Your Pharmacist to ensure drug therapy is as safe and effective as possible.

As often blogged about in Secure Pharma Chain Blog, globally the entire pharmaceutical supply chain is facing a proliferating epidemic of counterfeit, adulterated and fraudulent medications which threaten to impact the healthcare of consumers worldwide. Literally hundreds of thousands of people die each year globally, with millions more suffering from the impact of fraudulent drugs that they consume. Domestically, even though the percentage of the supply chain, impacted by counterfeit medications is estimated at 1-3% (well below the global average of 10%) this still means that over 35 million prescriptions are filled with fraudulent drugs each year within the United States.

The pharmacist is a consumer’s primary line of defense in protecting themselves from the impact of fraudulent and counterfeit medications and making certain that their drug therapy is as safe and effective as possible.

Secure Pharma Chain Blog’s Consumer Tips for Maximizing the Safety and Effectiveness of Your Medications:

1. Only buy medications from a licensed pharmacy that has locations near your home.

2. If you buy prescriptions on-line, only buy from licensed on-line pharmacy that is approved by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and/or one that is part of a chain or otherwise affiliated with a drug store that you visit regularly.

3. Never buy prescription medications from a source that does not require a physician’s prescription or offers you a physician’s prescription without a physical examination.

4. Develop a rapport with your local pharmacist and visit regularly with them about your medications and your healthcare in general.

5. If you notice that your medications have changed in appearance, smell, taste or otherwise appear different, contact your pharmacist immediately.

6. If you notice side effects that have not been explained to you, or your medications are not properly treating your condition as they have before, notify your pharmacist and physician immediately.

7. Remember, if the price of a medication sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

In today’s current economic climate, there are many who are using healthcare and medications as a way to make a quick buck, it is important that you work with healthcare professionals that diligently protect their patients from nefarious sources of supply that may negatively impact your health.

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