Tools to Stay Ahead of the Curve
The pharmacy landscape is always changing. Take advantage of the materials below to stay up-to-date about current issues that pharmacists may face. Offerings are available to educate yourself, your colleagues, or your patients. Preventing prescription drug misuse and abuse can start with you!
Watching for the ‘Red Flags’ of Diversion
NABP and the Anti-Diversion Industry Working Group, a consortium of pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors, created “Red Flags” to educate pharmacists on how to identify the warning signs of prescription drug abuse and diversion when dispensing controlled substance prescriptions. Or view the Red Flags Video on YouTube.
Addiction Treatment Resources & Abuse Prevention
The links below can provide information or help to those who are addicted or their loved ones:
- SAMHSA Treatment Locator – Find local treatment centers and drug abuse information.
- The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids – Provides parents with resources for preventing and treating teen drug abuse.
- The Pharmacists Recovery Network – Help yourself or a colleague struggling with prescription drug abuse.
Print or link to the AWARxE flyers below to help educate patients or members of your community about important prescription drug safety information.
Rules for Collecting Controlled Substances at Pharmacies and Long-Term Care Facilities
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) allows authorized non-law enforcement agencies to collect controlled substances (CS) provided they are DEA registrants and obtain approval to become authorized collectors.
- Contact your municipality or board of pharmacy to obtain state-specific information.
- Read DEA’s rules for pharmacies.
- Read DEA’s rules for long-term health care facilities.
Setting Up a Permanent Drug Disposal Site
A new drug disposal site is a great benefit to your community and an important step in preventing prescription drug misuse and abuse. The most effective disposal site is one that can accept controlled substances (which have the highest potential for abuse) in addition to general prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and supplements. Take a look at instructions for setting up a permanent drug disposal site.
- If your pharmacy is not already registered with DEA to collect prescription medication for disposal, you would need to do so. Please note: regulations vary from state to state, so you will need to contact your state board of pharmacy as well.
- After the DEA registration process is complete, you can look into purchasing a drug drop box through this company that sells drug drop boxes to non-law enforcement disposal sites.
Long-Term Care Facilities
- Take a look at specifications for medication disposal at long-term care facilities to see if your facility qualifies to open a disposal site.
- If your facility qualifies, you will need to register with the DEA to open a disposal site.
- After the registration process is complete, you can look into purchasing a drug disposal box through this company that sells drug disposal boxes to non-law enforcement disposal sites.
Law Enforcement Locations
- Register the location with the DEA.
- You can contact your local DEA Diversion Office with any questions.
- After you have completed your registration with the DEA to collect medication for disposal, you can contact one of the companies/organizations listed below to purchase a disposal box for your police station.
Your state board of pharmacy is also a good source of information for state rules and regulations on disposal that must be adhered to.
Destruction of Collected Prescription Drugs
Finding a reverse distribution service that will properly destroy the prescription drugs that you have collected for disposal is essential. You will need to make sure you are in compliance with all applicable Federal, State, tribal and local laws. The company or organization you obtain your disposal box from may be able to refer you to some reverse distribution services or waste collection companies, otherwise, your local DEA Diversion office or your state board of pharmacy may be able to tell you the best way to find a reputable service or company.
Canadian Online Pharmacies Shipping into the US
Federal law prohibits non-US pharmacies from shipping prescription medicines into the US. Also, rogue online pharmacies know that US citizens are more likely to trust online Canadian pharmacies, so they pretend to be based in Canada when in fact they could be based anywhere in the world.
- Read more about how to spot a rogue online pharmacy at Safe.Pharmacy.
- Show patients this list that features resource and referral sites that offer discounts and other forms of financial assistance.
The prescription drug abuse epidemic has led to an increase in dangerous pharmacy robberies.
- RxPATROL (Pattern Analysis Tracking Robberies and Other Losses) is designed to collect, collate, analyze, and disseminate critical information to law enforcement throughout the nation, help protect pharmacists, and guard against potential robberies. The group has helpful online training videos for pharmacists.
- The Health Care Professionals section of Rx Safety Matters provides education and resources about combating pharmacy theft, risk evaluation and mitigation strategies, and other topics for health care providers.
Federal Agency Resources
The following government agencies provide helpful information:
- Drug Enforcement Administration Office of Diversion Control
- Food and Drug Administration:
- Environmental Protection Agency:
NABP offers several programs and services addressing prescription drug abuse, medication safety, counterfeit medications, and rogue internet drug outlets.
- NABP PMP InterConnect facilitates the secure transfer of prescription monitoring program (PMP) data across state lines and on a national scale, enhancing the ability of PMPs to fight drug diversion and prescription drug abuse.
- .Pharmacy is a website verification program that identifies online pharmacies and pharmacy-related websites around the globe as safe and legitimate.
- Guidance Documents: