For chronic pain sufferers, there is a real problem with the abuse of painkillers in the United States. While the number of patients who have a legitimate need for prescription painkillers — 100 million plus — is vastly more than the number of people addicted to painkillers — 11 million — there is a stigma attached to the prescribing, dispensing and utilization of pain medicines.
As part of the launch of DSN’s new microsite, DrugStoreNews.com/Pain-Management, DSN had the opportunity to speak with Carmen Catizone, executive director of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, regarding a new initiative that the association is spearheading to address the current patient access problem when it comes to pain management pharmaceuticals.
News stories about doctor shopping and prescription pad pilfering in pursuit of a pain-pill induced high have become commonplace, prompting many legislators and regulators to consider further restrictions on pain medicines like hydrocodone compounds. But there may be a story that’s not being told — that the patients who suffer from chronic pain and need that hydrocodone to reclaim their lives are being stigmatized. The prevalence of pain pill abuse has left in its wake as many as 116 million legitimate pain sufferers who are finding it more difficult to access their therapies.
One reason pain patient advocates are so passionate about what they do is because they are pain patients themselves — they know the stigma associated with chronic pain; they know how difficult it can be to access appropriate pain therapy sometimes. That’s the story of Gina Libby, volunteer pain patient advocate who has lived with chronic pain for more than 20 years.
National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO Steve Anderson said that NACDS' comments shared with the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis were discussed in the meeting.
NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson weighs in on the continued work necessary to combat the opioid crisis following the preliminary report of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.
CVS Health president and CEO Larry Merlo made the announcement alongside Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo at the 2017 National Governor’s Association Summer Meeting, where Merlo has been touting the company’s approach to providing accessible and effective care.
CVS Health highlighted its efforts to help curb the opioid abuse epidemic, from offering prescription free naloxone to providing unused drug disposal kiosks and having its pharmacists teach students about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and misuse.
Walgreens’ safe medication disposal kiosks are at 600 pharmacies in 45 states, and can be accessed during regular pharmacy hours to dispose of prescription and OTC medication that has expired, gone unused or isn’t wanted.