Washington, D.C. (April 9, 2010) – The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), along with a diverse group of stakeholders, have partnered with the Washington Health Foundation (WHF) to unveil a new initiative that will help educate college students in Washington state about the proper use of medicines and provide resources to help prevent the abuse and misuse of prescription drugs and over-the-counter products.
While many efforts are in place to help educate grade-school children and other populations in the U.S. about the proper use of medicines and the benefits of healthy living, few programs exist specifically for college-age students. A recent study found that college students are most likely to alter their risky behavior if they are educated and engaged. To help confront this challenge, a first-of-its-kind pilot program called Healthy Generation was launched today by the WHF to help tackle the growing trend of drug abuse on college campuses.
Recent reports suggest that prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines are being misused at alarming rates. Friends, family members and even celebrities have undoubtedly been touched by this disturbing trend in one way or another. For this reason, Healthy Generation will be utilizing social networks and community advocacy resources, as well as providing training activities on college campuses, so that students have the tools they need to engage in healthy behaviors while also getting the support they need to help themselves or their friends.
“As we all know, medications, when used properly, can extend and enhance patients’ lives. We are also aware, however, that prescription drug abuse on college campuses is increasing at an alarming rate and that such behavior can sometimes lead to dangerous side effects and even overdoses,” said Jeff Bond, Senior Vice President for State Government Affairs at PhRMA. “America’s pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies recognize this and are doing their part to support critical health initiatives, such as Healthy Generation, that hold great promise for college students today and in the future. It is our hope that this program can create a positive ripple effect not only in the state of Washington but also across the entire United States.”
As part of this effort, a new comprehensive website – www.whf.org/my-health/college-health – has been created as a one-stop shop for students on and off campus, allowing students to interact online as well as access pertinent materials. What’s more, training programs for resident advisors in college halls will be offered, new student orientation materials will be developed and content will be incorporated into the curriculum to raise awareness of these very important issues.
Healthy Generation is comprised of many different stakeholders, including Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna, the Washington Health Foundation, Partnership for a Drug-Free America, Consumer Healthcare Products Association, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America, and many students and faculty members on campus.
Bond concluded, “This project launch is just the beginning of a longer journey to encourage talented, bright young students in Washington universities to show national leadership on this important issue. I am confident that this initiative has the potential to reach hundreds of thousands of college students across America – ultimately improving health and potentially saving lives.”
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures. PhRMA members alone invested an estimated $50.3 billion in 2008 in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry-wide research and investment reached a record $65.2 billion in 2008.
PhRMA Internet Address: www.phrma.org
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