If your household is like most in America, you could be unwittingly contributing to accidental poisonings, drug overdoses, and drug abuse simply by keeping unused, outdated, or expired pharmaceuticals in your medicine cabinet. That's why the New Jersey Poison Information & Education System (NJPIES) recommends regular medicine cabinet cleanouts. The changes of season, and the times of year when you reset your clocks, also are good times to clean out your medicine cabinet, according to NJPIES. "Even though they don't fall under the Controlled Substance Act, prescriptions are, by definition, controlled substances, " explained Steven Marcus, M.D., executive and medical director of NJPIES. "Prescriptions are given by a physician to a specific person for a limited time in a defined dose, and they can be very toxic if used in any way other than as prescribed.
As pharmaceutical companies increasingly turn their attention to emerging markets, they must find ways of addressing fundamental issues, such as affordability and patient access to medicines, if they are to reap the volume gains in these territories. Part of that picture is drug concordance, an issue whose importance to a cost-conscious healthcare sector is amplified in markets where a substantially larger number of patients may be paying for drugs out of their own pockets. The challenge is to make these drugs affordable to the patient in the first place, and then make sure the benefits - not to mention the ensuing revenue streams - are not squandered or disrupted by poor adherence to therapy. With many drug concordance or adherence strategies, new technology is providing the platform for a more interactive relationship with patients that can help to keep long-term therapy on track.
In honor of American Pharmacists Month, the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) encourages consumers to hold an open dialogue with their pharmacists about a growing problem in the United States, the proper usage of and adherence to medications. In the US alone, "America's other drug problem, " or nonadherence to prescribed medication regimens, results in up to 125, 000 deaths and costs the health care system more than $177 billion every year. Every year, APhA conducts its public education campaign, "Know Your MEDICINE, Know Your PHARMACIST" urging consumers to get to know their pharmacist. Conducted throughout the year, but highlighted especially in October during the annual American Pharmacists Month celebrations, the campaign underscores the link between knowing your pharmacist and the safe and effective use of medications.
Patient-Focused Medication Adherence Now More Important Than Ever - Patient Adherence Engagement Conference, Philadelphia, October 19-20
In a world of rising costs for healthcare services, healthcare reform programs enacted in both developed and developing countries to increase access, reduce costs and focus more on preventative care, and patient-focused interactions from health care professionals and the healthcare system, medication adherence is rising to the forefront of programs that can help us deliver on the promise of improving quality of care, increasing access, and reducing system costs. Outlined here are seven shifts Frost & Sullvan sees in the way healthcare systems are organized, and the approach to treating and managing healthcare. Each of these trends has an impact on individuals and organizations in the healthcare system. First is the shift from a system that in the past was very provider centric, with the hospital and physician the locus of control.
Buffalo (N.Y.) News : "Two of the region's three dominant health insurers intend to raise premiums on average by double digits for next year, and the third wants a double-digit increase for plans not structured as health maintenance organizations. The premium for one insurance plan could rise almost 36 percent. The insurers cite rising costs of medical care and federal health care reforms." The increases must be approved by the state (Epstein, 10/10). The Dayton (Ohio) Daily News : "Area workers can expect to pay more for health insurance next year, but controversial new health care laws won't be a big part of the projected cost increases, experts say. ... Despite the projected jump, [a state insurance official] estimates health care reform laws taking effect next year - such as requiring employers to cover workers' dependent children up to age 26 and the elimination of lifetime limits on insurance coverage - will contribute only marginally to the total cost of health plans being presented to workers this fall during the open enrollment season" (Tucker, 10/11).