NACDS president and chief executive officer Steven Anderson: “Every day, pharmacists face a moment of truth when presented with an opioid prescription, making decisions as a provider of patient care and as part of the solution to the opioid-abuse epidemic. Patients understand that community pharmacy is part of the solution, providing trusted advice and quality healthcare services.” He reiterated NACDS’ related policy recommendations, including those surrounding electronic prescribing, drug disposal, supply limits for a patient’s first prescription to treat temporary pain, prescription drug monitoring plans, health plan design and pain management.
“We are fully aligned with NACDS’ focus on the importance of pharmacies and pharmacists in educating consumers about how to prevent opioid diversion and abuse, especially when it comes to the safe and timely disposal of leftover medications,” said William Simpson, president of DisposeRx. “In the battle to end the opioid crisis, our mission at DisposeRx is aligned with a similar goal of providing pharmacists with the tools they need to encourage consumers to dispose of leftover opioids—and other medications—when they are no longer needed.”
Retail pharmacies across the country are already listening: DisposeRx’s easy-to-use, at-home disposal option is now available at nearly 50% of pharmacies nationwide. “While this number is extremely encouraging, we will only be satisfied once every pharmacy in the country routinely offers drug disposal education and an at-home disposal solution to every consumer,” Simpson says, emphasizing the importance of ease of use for consumer adherence. “DisposeRx is quick and efficient—you simply mix the water and powder in the prescription vial containing the unneeded drugs and shake the pill bottle for a short time until the pills are unusable and unavailable, and safely dispose of it in the trash.”
Pharmacists’ roles have evolved to include informing and educating patients about medications, and they have been consistently rated as top-trusted professionals by consumers. Simpson says the recent statement from NACDS reaffirms the pharmacist’s role in the entire prescription continuum, from initial dispensing through safe disposal when medications are no longer needed.