Fighting Prescription Drug Abuse

Fighting Prescription Drug Abuse

02.11.14 | By Kaelan Hollon

With the tragic news of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death, the national conversation around addiction has gained a new focal point. Though Hoffman died from a heroin overdose, his death has intensified an ongoing discussion about the abuse and misuse of painkillers and other medicines. 

Prescription drug abuse has become a national epidemic, and while nearly 91 percent of the commonly abused medicines are generic, the problem needs to be addressed by allstakeholders, including generic and innovative pharmaceutical manufacturers, legislators, health care providers, families, teachers and law enforcement. 

We know that misuse and abused of those medications can be deadly, and we have worked diligently to ensure patients not only have access to the medicines they need, but are educated on their proper use and disposal. As part of our ongoing efforts to address drug abuse, PhRMA supports enhanced prescriber and patient education, physical training implemented by state medical societies, and full disclosure of all risks and side effects of any medication. We have sought to engage a wide range of stakeholders in our charge. 

As part of our goal to educate patients about safe medicine use, we sponsor important programs such as the NGA’s Prescription Drug Abuse Reduction Policy AcademyD.A.R.E., and Drugfree.org. We recently signed the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) consensus document which serves as an important guidance tool for stakeholders in the joint fight against the diversion, misuse, and abuse of prescription medicines

As we work together with other health care professionals and community stakeholders to address the serious issue of prescription drug abuse, it is critical that we do not compromise or in any way de-legitimize the serious medical needs of patients suffering from pain. We at PhRMA are determined to continue working with our partners at both state and national levels in the ongoing fight against prescription drug abuse.

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