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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Ensuring Safe Access to Medication for Palliative Care While Preventing Prescription Drug Abuse: Innovations for American Inner Cities, Rural Areas, and Communities Overwhelmed by Addiction
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This article proposes and develops novel components of community-oriented programs for creating and affording access to safe medication dispensing centers in existing retail pharmacies and in permanent or travelling pharmacy clinics that are guarded by assigned or off-duty police officers. (Author)
This article proposes and develops novel components of community-oriented
programs for creating and affording access to safe medication dispensing centers in existing
retail pharmacies and in permanent or traveling pharmacy clinics that are guarded by assigned or
off-duty police officers.  Pharmacists at these centers would work with police, medical providers,
social workers, hospital administrators, and other professionals in: planning and overseeing
the safe storage of controlled substance medications in off-site community safe-deposit boxes;
strengthening communication and cooperation with the prescribing medical provider; assisting
the prescribing medical provider in patient monitoring (checking the state prescription registry,
providing pill counts and urine samples); expanding access to lower-cost, and in some cases,
abuse-resistant formulations of controlled substance medications; improving transportation
access for underserved patients and caregivers to obtain prescriptions; and integrating community
agencies and social networks as resources for patient support and monitoring. Novel
components of two related community-oriented programs, which may be hosted outside of
safe medication dispensing centers, are also suggested and described: (1) developing medication
purchasing cooperatives (ie, to help patients, families, and health institutions afford the
costs of medications, including tamper- or abuse-resistant/deterrent drug formulations); and
(2) expanding the role of inner-city methadone maintenance treatment programs in palliative
care (ie, to provide additional patient monitoring from a second treatment team focusing on
narcotics addiction, and potentially, to serve as an untapped source of opioid medication for
pain that is less subject to abuse, misuse, or diversion). (Author)
Journal
2011
4
2011
97-105
1 917 254 7271
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