Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Medication "Safety"?

Dangerous Medications

Who can we “blame” for the drug problems on Long Island and maybe even in your community? There is a heroin epidemic and serious problems with prescription drug abuse. Some people try to blame the family, or society, do we need to blame anyone at all?

Before the patient ever leaves the hospital, discussions MUST include information about the medication such as, if it can be addicting, where to store it and how to dispose of it to keep it away from anyone who may want it to use or sell illegally..

Doctors should not be afraid to tell the patient if their medication may be appealing to someone who can get a few dollars for it on the street or use it without authorization.

Did you know a pharmacist or pharmacy intern must actually provide patient education:
• Before dispensing a medication to a new patient of the pharmacy;
• Before filling a new prescription for an existing patient of the pharmacy and
• If the dose, strength, route of administration, or directions for use has changed for an existing prescription previously dispensed to an existing patient of the pharmacy.

When you sign for your medication, you are actually signing away that right to counsel. READ what you are signing!

I picked up a controlled substance for my son from my local pharmacy. We never used this medication before but we had some warnings from the doctor about its side effects. I don’t know if it’s addicting, nor do I know if it can be sold on the street but I can tell you there was a large “COUNSEL, NEW DRUG ” alert which went completely ignored by the young girl behind the counter.

At a recent workshop hosted by PULSE of NY, we learned that a pharmacist is taught to ask: What is the name of the medication you are taking? How were you told to take it, and what do you expect to happen from taking this medication? None of this was asked, the pharmacists was never called upon, the young girl handed me the bag, told me to sign and walked away. I never signed.

I felt like I was just handed a gun.

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