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NCPA Encourages Pharmacists to Promote Medication Expertise from Dispensing to Disposal
Date:10/6/2010

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Oct. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With October as American Pharmacists Month, the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) encourages community pharmacists to demonstrate their role as a respected and knowledgeable resource on all aspects of medications, from dispensing to disposal.

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To assist pharmacists in conveying that message, NCPA is offering new discounts, product displays, and communications and marketing materials and event ideas as part of its successful prescription disposal program for consumers, www.DisposeMyMeds.org.

"During American Pharmacists Month community pharmacies that voluntarily offer drug disposal services for their patients have an opportunity to build their businesses while building better relationships with patients as they discuss their medication needs," said Joseph H. Harmison, PD, NCPA president and pharmacy owner in Arlington, TX.  "Pharmacists place a premium on monitoring what prescription drugs are taken, how they interact with other drugs, how effective they are, and what side-effects they might cause as a way to ensure patients are getting the maximum results," said Harmison. "The Dispose My Meds program is another avenue to allow pharmacists to apply their clinical patient care knowledge and to promote proper adherence to the patient's prescription medication regimen."

As medication experts, pharmacists can help patients get the most benefit from their medicine. When patients stop in to dispose of their unused medications they can speak with their pharmacist about why they discontinued their medication. A survey released by NCPA found that an astounding three-quarter of adults do not always take their prescription medicine as directed. Problems include forgetting to take a medication, taking less than the prescribed dosage or discontinuing usage. Community pharmacists are the most accessible health care providers and play a crucial role in improving adherence and serving as a key care contact as patients move through the health care system. 

The NCPA prescription disposal program was launched around the 40th anniversary of Earth Week in April via a partnership with NCPA and Sharps Compliance Inc. in order to address two pressing issues: drug diversion and environmental contamination. As part of the program, NCPA members receive nearly 20 percent in discounts with shipping included on the products from the Sharps TakeAway Environmental Return System, along with free customizable marketing materials and a listing on our companion consumer website, www.disposemymeds.org. To date more than 1,000 pharmacies in 48 states are participating in the program and have collected some 12,000 pounds of unused or expired medications. Participating pharmacies have noted increased foot traffic and conversion of new patients.

NCPA developed this program to encourage community pharmacists to consider voluntarily initiating medication disposal programs. The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives just last month cleared for the President's signature The Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act (S. 3397), legislation backed by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) that could improve and encourage voluntary prescription drug disposal programs like NCPA's Dispose My Meds.

For more information or to get involved, pharmacists can visit www.ncpanet.org or www.disposemymeds.org.

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 22,700 independent community pharmacies, pharmacy franchises, and chains. Together they represent an $88 billion health-care marketplace, employ over 65,000 pharmacists, and dispense over 40% of all retail prescriptions. To learn more go to www.ncpanet.org or read NCPA's blog, The Dose, at http://ncpanet.wordpress.com.


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SOURCE National Community Pharmacists Association
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