Issue 005, 2016 q3

Looking back 005

Sedgwick’s thought leaders regularly provide insight on industry-related topics and issues that may impact our clients. This quarter, we look back at several timely blog posts regarding prescription drug misuse and abuse.

Misuse of antipsychotics in workers’ compensation patients

Antipsychotics are medications used for the treatment of acute and chronic psychosis and other psychotic conditions. Besides their defined indication by the Food and Drug Administration, antipsychotics are often used and misused for off-label conditions such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and insomnia. Like all other medications, they have their fair share of side effects and drug interactions. Click here to read the full article.

Combating prescription drug abuse

Last year, Dr. Reema Hammoud of Sedgwick shared a blog regarding National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. The next National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), will be held April 30, 2016. However, thanks to Walgreens, it will soon be easier to safely dispose of unwanted and expired prescription medications every day. Earlier this month, Walgreens announced it will install medication disposal kiosks in more than 500 drugstores nationwide in an effort to combat prescription drug abuse and the rise in overdose deaths. The installations, which began in California, will expand to 39 more states this year. Most of the store locations with the kiosks are open around the clock. The retailer is providing an investment that will save lives. Click here to read the full article.

Dangerous prescribing practices and at-risk patients – a look at best practices

It was my privilege to present along with Dr. Paul Peak of Sedgwick at the 2016 National RX Drug and Heroin Summit in Atlanta, Georgia to discuss dangerous prescribing practices and at-risk patients. The conference was highlighted by a public appearance by President Obama who spoke to those in attendance. One thing the President said that really resonated with me is that, even though there is a lot in the press about getting NARCAN in the hands of addicts, it is equally important that we find a way to prevent the addiction in the first place. President Obama was on a panel moderated by Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN and it included an ER doctor and a young woman who was a heroin addict. She had a very powerful story that demonstrated the need for more resources to quickly address life-threatening addictions. She shared that when she hit rock bottom and wanted to get into rehab she had to wait three weeks for approval. Click here for the full article.

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is today

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day was established in 2010 by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to help reduce prescription drug risks and encourage safety. Last September, Americans turned in 350 tons (over 702,000 pounds) of unused or unwanted prescription drugs at more than 5,000 sites operated by the DEA and more than 3,800 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 10 previous Take-Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 5.5 million pounds – more than 2,750 tons – of pills. Click here for the full article.

Over-the-counter problem no longer under the radar

Three weeks ago, I was wrapping up a discussion with a client and fellow Sedgwick colleagues on the opioid epidemic. Someone in the room received the unexpected text that Prince had died. In the next few moments, without any other information, my fellow pharmacy colleagues and I started thinking to ourselves what could have possibly led to his death. Our meeting ended shortly thereafter and when I reconvened with my colleagues outside, we had all completed the mental exercise in our head, considering the news of an emergency plane landing in the days leading up to Prince’s death. This sounded like a drug overdose…If there is anything good that can come from a story of another life lost due to opioid abuse, it is awareness and action. These stories can serve to make us aware of how pervasive this issue has become, while also forcing us to act for a better way forward. Click here to read the full article.

 

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issue 005, 2016 q3

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