According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States has seen an increase in overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 83,544 Americans overdosing during the 12-month period ending July 1, 2020, the most ever recorded in a 12-month period. The increase in drug overdose deaths appeared to begin prior to the COVID-19 health emergency, but accelerated significantly during the first months of the pandemic.
How can your pharmacy get involved? Make note that the DEA National Drug Takeback Day is slated for April 24, 2021. There is still time for your pharmacy to work with local and national authorities to set up an event. It’s a great way to help securely gather and dispose of unused or expired medicines, including those that contain controlled substances in your community. More information can be found at DEATakeback.com.
The partnership toolbox offers Youtube videos that can be shared, PDF posters, pamphlets, social media posts and press release templates for your pharmacy. Many pharmacies serve as permanent drug disposal sites, and your pharmacy can work with the DEA Drug Diversion Control Division to be added to their online search engine list.
Keeping with the theme of controlled substances, look out for new Quality Corner Show episodes in April that will tackle the topic of Opioid Management including Opioid Screening Management, Naloxone and Harm Reduction, Dose Management and Quality Measures related to Opioids.
To further address the opioid epidemic from a quality measure perspective, the Pharmacy Quality Alliance provides some information about their list of opioid measures with a downloadable core set overview.
PQS also recommends reviewing our EQuIPP® Educational video on Opioid Measures Explained below:
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