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NCPA takes part in White House roundtable on Rx abuse
June 6th, 2011
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A representative for the National Community Pharmacists Association participated in a White House roundtable discussion on prescription drug abuse.
NCPA said Monday that Timothy Davis, owner of Beaver Health Mart Pharmacy in Beaver, Pa., and representing the association, took part in the roundtable with about two dozen leaders in the public safety, health care, and technology sectors to address how health information technology can help limit prescription drug abuse.
In particular, the participants examined how data from Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) can better facilitate prescribing, be incorporated into pharmacies and leveraged in emergency rooms, according to NCPA.
"Independent community pharmacies have adopted technology and built relationships that will be vital in the fight against medication abuse," Davis stated. "Every single pharmacist has the ability to make a difference in his or her community when given the right tools. It is exciting that pharmacists have been given the opportunity to work with other professionals and our government in designing and deploying these tools during this innovative time in health information technology. We promise to use this time to maintain access to care while ensuring the safety of our patients and our communities."
NCPA noted that a report earlier this year by the White House found that during the past decade there was a 48% increase in filling narcotic drug prescriptions from 174 million to 257 million. And in the past five years, emergency room visits caused by prescription drug abuse or misuse has doubled. Unintentional drug overdoses account for 28,000 annual deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"Including committed, technologically-savvy, independent community pharmacists like Tim Davis in the fight against prescription drug abuse is a must," B. Douglas Hoey, executive vice president and chief executive officer of NCPA, said in a statement. "One of the keys to beating this epidemic is using health information technology in a coordinated fashion between the public and private sector to combat problems associated with drug diversion."
Hoey added, "When the White House announced its new strategy for combating this scourge in April, NCPA pledged its support. We will continue working with the U.S. Congress, state governments and state boards of pharmacy. But most importantly, we will continue to help fight pharmacy crime and help with the safe disposal of medications."
According to NCPA, Davis has created technologically advanced pharmacies that permit replication of successful practices and chairs the association's Committee for Innovation and Technology in Pharmacy and resides on the board of directors for the American Society for Automation in Pharmacy.