16 May Pharmacists key to reducing prescription medication related harms: Pharmacy 777
16 MAY 2018
Pharmacists key to reducing prescription medication related harm: Pharmacy 777
Pharmacy 777 is urging all pharmacists to start conversations with their patients about the risks associated with using benzodiazepines or opioids long-term as part of ScriptWise’s inaugural National Prevention of Prescription Medication Dependence Week (May 14-18).
In 2016, prescription medication related deaths accounted for approximately 68 percent of drug deaths (172 of 252) in WA, more than double that of a decade ago (83).
Pharmacy 777 Managing Director Kim Brotherson says that pharmacists play an important role in educating patients about the quality use of prescription medications.
”When people are taking multiple medications it can often be confusing, so it can be helpful to explain their use, and ensure they are working well together.”
“Pharmacists also play an essential role in helping patients identify if the combination of their medication use could be dangerous.”
In 2016, benzodiazepines were identified in 663 (36.7 percent) of drug related deaths. The combined use of benzodiazepines with other medications such as opioids or alcohol can lead to dangerous levels of sedation and even death.
ScriptWise Chair Dr Richard Kidd agrees that better patient education is essential to halt the rising tide of prescription medication overdose deaths.
“Many patients are unaware that prescription medications such as opioids and benzodiazepines can be highly addictive and dangerous to use long-term,” said Dr Kidd.
“Prescription medication dependence can happen to anyone, and sometimes without their knowledge. The body develops a tolerance to the medication leading to them needing to take more and more to get the same effect.”
For Kim Brotherson and the Pharmacy 777 Group, compassion is key to ensuring patients receive the best professional care.
“There is a lot of stigma around seeking help for dependency. Pharmacists can help to reassure patients that prescription medication dependency can happen to people from all walks of life and that there are effective treatments available.”
For further information or interviews please contact: Lara Beissbarth m: 0425 872 744 or e: firstname.lastname@example.org
ScriptWise is a non-profit organisation dedicated to preventing prescription medication misuse and overdose fatalities in Australia. We work with our partners and those personally affected to help improve health literacy and to advocate for essential health interventions to ensure Australians can achieve a better quality of life. To find out more information about Prevention Week please visit: https://www.scriptwise.org.au/prevention-week
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