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Last Updated
October 17, 2016
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October 7, 2016
100 Million Prescription Opioids Unused Annually After Dental Surgery
University of Pennsylvania research addresses the prescription drugs that are leftover after surgical tooth extraction.  
According to the report, more than one-half of the opioids prescribed to patients following the dental procedure were 
left unused. Results of the study show within 5 days of surgery, most patients are experiencing relatively little pain, 
and yet, most still had well over half of their opioid prescription left, according to a co-author of the study.
When translated to the broad U.S. population, the study suggests that more than 100 million opioid pills prescribed to 
patients following surgical removal of impacted wisdom teeth are not used, leaving the door open for possible abuse or 
misuse by patients, or their friends or family.  The research, published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, suggests that 
having prescription disposal kiosks in pharmacies as well as small financial incentives could increase correct disposal of 
opioids by more than 20%.

October 6, 2016
Campaign Highlights Risks of Counterfeit Medicines, Calls for Patient Education
“Counter the Counterfeits,” a new World Health Professions Alliance (WHPA) campaign, aims to raise awareness about 
the risks of fake medicines. The campaign’s efforts include an interactive video that urges health care providers to 
educate their communities about unsafe sources, what to look for, and what to do if they think a medicine is 
counterfeit. “ We’re seeing an increase in fake medicines around the world and they’re becoming harder to identify due 
to technological advances,” said Luc Besançon, chief executive officer of the International Pharmaceutical Federation 
(FIP), a member organization of WHPA.

October 1, 2016
NCPIE’s new tools spark patient–pharmacist conversations about medication safety
NCPIE serves as co-editor for a monthly column in Pharmacy Today (American
Pharmacists Association) The column is entitled “One-to-One” and is intended to help develop
pharmacists’ medication communication and counseling skills to promote safe and appropriate
medicine use.

September 23, 2016
Falls are Leading Cause of Injury & Death in Older Americans
Falls are the No. 1 cause of injuries and deaths from injury among older Americans.  In 2014, a total of 29 million falls 
among older Americans caused 7 million injuries and cost an estimated $31 billion, CDC reports. "Older adult falls are 
increasing and, sadly, often herald the end of independence," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH.   To help 
reduce falls among older adults, CDC has developed the Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths, and Injuries (STEADI)
initiative to help health care providers make fall prevention routine. The program includes information on how 
to screen for falls; online training for providers; videos on how to conduct functional assessments; and informational 
brochures for providers, patients, and caregivers.
There are several simple steps older individuals can take to help prevent a fall, including talking to their health care 
provider about falls and fall prevention, talking to their provider or pharmacist about medications that make them 
more likely to fall, having their eyes checked every year, participating in evidence-based programs that can improve 
balance and strengthen the legs, and getting rid of fall hazards in the home.

September 19, 2016
Dosing Errors Common With Children's Liquid Medicine
Parents may give their child too much or too little medicine when dispensing medication, particularly dosing cups, 
according to a study in Pediatrics. Researchers asked 2,110 parents of children age 8 or younger to measure nine 
doses of liquid medication in random order, and parents doled out the wrong dose 43% of the time using a dosing cup, 
compared to 16% of the time when using an oral syringe.  
(Source: Pediatrics, September 2016)