FRAZER, Pa. — Cephalon Inc. has partnered with the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and the American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA) to broaden the biopharmaceutical company’s "When Good Medicines Become Bad Drugs" program.
The national education campaign provides patients, caregivers and the public with information about the abuse of prescription medications, which affects as many as 6 million Americans and now surpasses the national use of most illegal "street drugs," according to Cephalon.
The company said Wednesday that the expanded program provides educational tools in select pharmacies nationwide and online at the program’s web site, www.GoodMedicinesBadDrugs.com. This new site features practical tips and information, including videos with leading experts in the pain and addiction community.
As part of the program’s expansion, Cephalon partnered with ACPA and APhA to develop educational materials for use in the pharmacy, providing patients, caregivers and the public with information on how to safely and appropriately use prescription pain medicines. The materials include a countertop display and a patient CARE card, a graphic-based tool that shows how to use, store and dispose of prescription medicines.
"Pharmacists play a key role in educating the public about prescription medicines, and the expansion of this program provides hands-on resources to support those conversations with the goal of reducing prescription pain medicine abuse," explained Dr. Lesley Russell, chief medical officer at Cephalon. "The When Good Medicines Become Bad Drugs program is part of our continued commitment to patient education to help ensure that prescription medications are used safely and by the appropriate patients."
Cephalon said that through the When Good Medicines Become Bad Drugs program, the company and its partners plan to educate nearly 3 million people and help remind patients to keep their medications safe in the home.
"Prescription medicine abuse is a growing concern in our country, so we need to use every available channel to communicate about safe use. As pharmacists, we promote public understanding of risks and benefits of prescription medications," Thomas Menighan, executive vice president and chief executive officer of the American Pharmacists Association, said in a statement. "With a greater understanding of how to use and store medicines safely and appropriately, patients, parents and caregivers can protect themselves, their families and their communities from the effects of inappropriate use."
Added Penney Cowan, founder and executive director of the American Chronic Pain Association, "People with pain deserve appropriate treatment for their condition, including prescription pain medicines, but one of our goals as an organization is to help people learn how to use them safely and correctly. We are proud to be a part of this valuable program and to be able to provide people with easy-to-understand information on prescription medicines, including how they should be taken and what things should be avoided, as well as safe storage and disposal."
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