New Toolkit Aims to Help Patients Avoid Drug Misuse

Kate H. Gamble, Senior Editor
Published Online: Tuesday, October 25, 2011
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The Cardinal Health Foundation and The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy recently released a new, interactive toolkit that pharmacists, health care providers, community organizations and others can use to educate patients on how to avoid the misuse of prescription drugs. The groups are also partnering with the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP) to promote the toolkit among older adults and their caregivers.

“Prescription medications are among the most common types of medical treatment in the United States, with pharmacists dispensing almost 4 billion prescriptions each year,” said Jessica Lineberger, senior manager of Community Relations for Cardinal Health. If not taken appropriately, these medications “have dangerous and deadly consequences, particularly for individuals who take multiple medications.”

The newest GenerationRx toolkit is designed to help individuals avoid adverse drug events so that they can get the best results from their medications.

"We know that older adults are 2.5 times more likely to experience an adverse drug event than younger individuals and 7 times more likely to be hospitalized for an adverse drug event than younger individuals,” said Janice Feinberg, PharmD, JD, research director at the ASCP Foundation. “But researchers estimate that about one-third of all medication-related problems in older adults are preventable, and that’s why we’re so pleased to partner with the Cardinal Health Foundation and The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy to help raise awareness among older adults about how to avoid the misuse of prescription drugs.”

The new Generation Rx Senior/Best Use of Medications toolkit, available at www.CardinalHealth.com/GenerationRx, provides the resources needed to conduct an educational session at a senior center, library, independent living home or other location where a group of older adults or caregivers gather. The toolkit includes discussion-based and interactive materials that can be used to customize a 30-to-60 minute presentation to educate older adults and their caregivers about the safe use of medications. It also offers simple steps and suggestions for avoiding adverse drug events. Materials include:
  • Generation Rx: Getting the Best Results from Your Medications—a PowerPoint presentation (with talking points) that explains how to get the best results from medications and avoid adverse drug events.
  • Interactive activities including an “Rx Roulette” game that can be used to have an interactive discussion about the important components of a complete medication record, and a bingo-style game that helps patients understand how to read OTC medication labels.
  • Role play activities that help seniors understand how they can leverage their relationships with their physicians and pharmacists to ensure they get all the information they need about how to properly use their medications.
  • Web site resources that provide more information and materials for participants’ own personal use, following the presentation.
ASCP will introduce the GenerationRx Senior/Best Use of Medications toolkit at its annual meeting next month, and at upcoming meetings hosted by the American Society on Aging and the National Areas Agencies on Aging.

“We’re excited about our new GenerationRx toolkit, because we believe that once armed with this valuable information, individuals will be more empowered to take the right steps to ensure they’re using their medications in a way that will improve their health while at the same time avoiding medication-related problems,” said Ruth Emptage, PharmD, CGP, clinical assistant professor of Pharmacy Practice at The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy. “And we’re very pleased to have ASCP as a partner to help us reach older adults, as we believe they’re one of audiences most likely to benefit from this toolkit.”

Preventing prescription drug abuse and misuse is one of the key strategic priorities of the Cardinal Health Foundation. The Foundation’s previously released GenerationRx toolkits, also developed in partnership with The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy, are designed to educate teen and adult audiences about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and misuse. These materials can also be downloaded for free at www.CardinalHealth.com/GenerationRx.

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