Program encourages pharmacists to prevent misuse of prescription medicines

SEATTLE — The Cardinal Health Foundation and the American Pharmacists Association on Monday announced a partnership to encourage pharmacists and student pharmacists to take an active role in preventing the abuse and misuse of prescription medications.

With funding support from the Cardinal Health Foundation, APhA will encourage its pharmacist and student pharmacist members to join the fight to prevent prescription drug abuse by tapping into two communication toolkits developed by the Ohio State University College of Pharmacy and funded by the Cardinal Health Foundation.

Available at CardinalHealth.com/GenerationRx, these toolkits contain talking points, presentation materials and tips to make it time-efficient and easy for pharmacists and others to discuss the issue of prescription drug abuse in a variety of environments — from civic, community group and parent-teacher association meetings to classroom and youth settings.

"We believe that as trusted healthcare experts, pharmacists and student pharmacists can play an important role in helping parents, educators, community leaders and teens better understand the dangers of prescription drug abuse," stated Jessica Lineberger, manager of the Cardinal Health Foundation. 

Earlier this year, the APhA also launched a competition among its 116 APhA Academy of Student Pharmacist chapters, challenging them to utilize the GenerationRx toolkit to raise awareness of prescription drug abuse in their communities. Student chapters were encouraged to submit a report summarizing their related work and accomplishments.

The top five chapters in this inaugural competition were Idaho State University, the Ohio State University, University of Florida, University of Illinois at Chicago and University of Minnesota. These student chapters were recognized during the APhA-ASP Opening General Session, and received a commemorative plaque and cash award in recognition of their work.    

The APhA also recently introduced the APhA GenerationRx Award of Excellence, endowed by the Cardinal Health Foundation, which each year will recognize one pharmacist for outstanding efforts in prescription medication abuse prevention. Applications will be accepted later this year for the inaugural award, which will be presented at the APhA 2012 Annual Meeting and Exposition. Award criteria and nomination information will be posted at Pharmacist.com.

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