The Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies’ blog profiles efforts to address the growing problem of consumer access to illegitimate pharmaceutical products on the Internet from the perspective of CSIP staff and board members and partners. It is updated on a a regular basis with new information and breaking news stories so be sure to check back often.
According to the National Vital Statistics System of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 130 people die each day from an opioid overdose in the US. Combined with the rising number of people who battle physical and emotional pain, addiction, substance use, etc. it is a public health challenge of epic proportion. Besides the individual challenges to the patients and providers, the opioid epidemic is impacting the overall health and economic systems. A 2016 article in the journal Medical Care looked at the economic burden of the opioid epidemic in the US, finding it to be an estimated “$78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.” Read More
Safe and convenient disposal of unused medication – particularly opioids – is an important aspect of fighting the raging opioid epidemic. Follow observation of high search rates for the the terms “medication disposal near me,” Google, a longtime CSIP partner, has taken strides to make its work during last year’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, a more permanent fixture of its technology services. The API that it launched last year to help people find nearby locations to dispose of medications is now a permanent fixture to Google maps and search. This pilot effort is possible through Google partnering with pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens, as well as state governments, and the US. Drug Enforcement Administration to get the detailed location data it needs to share with consumers. Read More
In its 2016 evidence-based guidance on prescribing opioids, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stressed the importance of considering non-opioid approaches for pain management, and that “opioids should not be considered firstline or routine therapy for chronic pain.” While opioids only cover up pain by blocking pain signals to the brain (plus come with a range of side effects and addictive tendencies), options like physical therapy can get to the root of the pain, help with mobility, and improve quality of life. Read More