NCPA hails Bush campaign to prevent teenage drug abuse

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The independent pharmacy industry’s chief advocacy group is hailing the Bush administration’s new campaign to prevent prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse by teenagers.

The White House launched the new campaign via an ad campaign, which kicked off in the highest-profile venue possible: during the Super Bowl Sunday night.

“The National Community Pharmacists Association applauds the [administration’s] announcement of a White House task force to address the abuse of legitimate prescriptions,” said Steve Giroux, an independent pharmacy owner from Middleport, N.Y., and president of NCPA. “Patients should routinely discuss the dangers of their prescriptions with the children in their homes, as well as with their community pharmacist.”

Giroux cited several factors in the increase in teen prescription and OTC drug abuse—and he took the chance to take a swipe at pharmacy benefit managers and mail-order pharmacies. “One problem associated with abuse of prescription drugs is the routine shipping of 90-day supplies through the mail from facilities owned by pharmacy benefit managers,” he said. “In most parts of the world, a 30-day supply is the norm—also the maximum amount that these same pharmacy benefit managers allow community pharmacies to dispense.

"With so many pills delivered in mailboxes or on front door steps, placed in the medicine cabinet or on the kitchen counter, it is very difficult for consumers to account for every painkiller … sleeping aid … or anti-anxiety medication … increasing the risk for teenagers or other family member to experiment with medications not prescribed for them,” Giroux added.

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