Archive for April, 2012

April 28th is National Prescription Take-Back Day

Posted by on April 27th, 2012

Safe Drug DisposalThe Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is again hosting a National Prescription Drug Take Back day at locations around the United States. To find the location closest to your home simple visit the website and type in your location here, they also have a Facebook page where you can learn more about the event.

Last year at 5550 take-back sites in all 50 states over 377,000 pounds of unwanted or expired medication was turned in for proper and safe disposal.

A survey done in conjunction with this years event revealed that over 57% of American adults dispose of their prescription medication improperly by throwing them out in the trash or flushing them down the toilet or drain. The survey also found that 35% of American adults said yes to having prescription medication in their home they are not using and 21% admitted to having expired medication. Over 84% of those that reported that had recently disposed of medication improperly did say in the survey that they would be willing to return medication to a pharmacy or local waste management program if they were better informed of how to go about it.

Safe disposal is important because it reduces drug abuse. A lot of prescription drug abuse amongst teens involves unwanted and forgotten about drugs that they take from family for use or resale. Proper disposal also reduces accidental poisoning. Over half of calls to poison control centres concern children who have taken prescription medication left improperly stored at home. Finally, safe disposal of medication reduces the harmful effects that it has the environment.

Study finds high rate of “Off-Label” use of Prescription Drugs

Posted by on April 25th, 2012

A Canadian study published this week reported that more than 10 percent of prescriptions being written were for drugs that were not approved to treat that patient’s condition. For the study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, the researchers examined more than 250,000 electronic prescriptions for more than 50,000 patients written from 2005 through 2009 by 113 doctors in a primary care network in Canada and found that about 11 percent of the medications were prescribed for off-label use, and 79 percent of off-label use lacked strong scientific evidence. Previous studies of American patients found slightly lower levels of off-label use, but the study’s authors believe the overall rate of off-label use of prescription drugs in the U.S would mirror the Canadian results.

Off-label prescribing is when a physician gives you a drug that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved to treat a condition that is different than yours. This practice is legal and common. In fact, one out of every five prescriptions written today is for off-label use.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality suggest that you talk with your doctor if you have concerns about any medicine or treatment, particularly if it may be off label. They suggest that before you go off-label that you ask these questions:

  • Is this the approved use of the medicine? You may not know if the use is off label. This question can help you start the conversation with your doctor about your medicines.
  • Is the off-label use of this drug likely to be more effective than one approved to treat my illness? This is important because the off-label drug may not be as well tested for your condition.
  • What evidence shows that this off-label drug can treat my condition?
  • What are the risks and benefits of off-label treatment with this drug?
  • Will my health insurance cover off-label treatment with this drug?

Consumer Reports also suggests that that while many times that going off-label can be beneficial when done in close conjunction with your doctors treatment recommendations, that consumers should also be wary because of the potential for abuse and paying for costly drugs that may not be needed. Greater promotion of off-label drug uses could have patients reaching deeper into their pockets to cover prescription costs. Health insurance companies closely scrutinize drugs that are used off-label and may result in greater out-of-pocket costs if the insurance does not cover your doctor’s prescriptions.

Canada Drugs, Canadian Pharmacy, can be a source of savings when health insurance won’t cover a doctors off-label prescription recommendation. With direct cash savings of 20%-80% off the U.S retail cost, we offer savings on many of the most common drugs that are prescribed for off-label use. Our pharmacists in consultation with your doctor can help advise you of your options, and help you make an educated healthcare decision when prescribed a medication for off-label use.

Tackle a Headache without a pain reliever.

Posted by on April 20th, 2012

We all get the occasional headache, they are one of the most common health issues and most disappear on their own (after a little time) or with the help of mild pain relievers. Canada Drugs, Canadian Pharmacy offers a full line of brand name and generic over-the-counter treatments for the common headache at prices quite a bit lower than your neighbourhood drug store, but an article in Men’s Health Magazine this month had some tips on how to deal with chronic headaches, which over-the-counter pain relievers might not treat and may actually make worse because they lower your pain threshold. If you find yourself taking over-the-counter medication for your headaches more than twice a week it’s best to talk to your doctor and try some of these methods to reduce your need to pop pills.

  • Apply Ice

An ice-lack can offer a quick short-term fix and help ease inflammation.

  • Yoga

A 2007 study from India showed that yoga can reduce chronic tension-headache pain by 71 percent as well as decrease spasms in your temporalis muscle, a chewing muscle on the side of your head.

  • Acupressure

Peter Goadsby, M.D., director of the headache center at the University of California at San Francisco, says some people find relief by using their right index finger and thumb to gently squeeze the muscle between their left index finger and thumb.

  • Hit the Gym

Not so good when you have a headache. But to prevent one in the first place it’s recommended to get 40 minutes a day of regular exercise to reduce your risk of developing migraines.

Headaches are never fun, so hopefully combination of these measures and maybe the occasional discount Tylenol from can get you feeling yourself again!

More American Seniors are rationing as Drug Costs Rise Again in 2011

Posted by on April 11th, 2012

In 2011 the overall level of U.S spending on prescription drugs grew just barley by 0.5 percent to a total of just over $320 billion according to the annual report released this week from IMS Health. However, don’t take this as a sign that U.S drug costs, the highest in the world, are giving consumers a break.

The drop in prescription drug spending is actually tied to more and more people going without the drugs they need because of the high costs. The study reported that the lower overall spend on drugs was tied to a drop in physician office visits and non-emergency room hospital admissions. These are places where drugs are most often prescribed. In direct proportion to the decline in visits to doctors office was an almost 8% increase in visits to emergency rooms, indicating people are delaying treatment until they are very sick.

The other factor in the lower use of drugs was a decline in actual use of prescription drugs, particularly by seniors, who are traditionally the biggest consumers of the products. Patients ages 65 and older reduced their use of prescription drugs by 3.1 percent, with the biggest drop coming in the use of medicines to control blood pressure. Drugs used for other chronic diseases, including osteoporosis and cholesterol, also saw a big drop among seniors. With no miracle cure for these chronic conditions having emerged, the drop in use of drugs to treat these conditions is tied to seniors skipping getting treatment or rationing pills and taking one pill with a meal, when perhaps two were prescribed., Canadian Pharmacy is committed to offering an affordable alternative to seniors, and all Americans who are being pressed with these rising prices and considering having to ration care. We offer savings of up to 80% on prescription drugs and are dedicated to giving those that are struggling with high costs a place to turn when faced with the very real possibility of having to skip doses or forgoing filling a prescription all together.

Be Careful under the Sun (And Tanning Bed)

Posted by on April 5th, 2012

A study published from the Mayo Clinic reports a dramatic rise of skin cancer for people under 40. It reports that between the years 1970 and 2009, the incidence of melanoma increased over 8 times among young women and four times among young men ages 18 to 39.

The researchers speculate that the use of indoor tanning beds is a key culprit in the rising cancer rate in this younger demographic. Previous studies have linked tanning beds to skin cancer, including one that found that people who use them are 74% more likely to develop melanoma. In 2009, tanning beds were declared a human carcinogen by the International Agency of Research on Cancer. This puts them in the same cancer risk category as cigarettes., Canadian pharmacy can’t protect you from the harmful rays of a tanning bed, but our full line of discount sunscreen products are a cost effective way to protect yourself and your family from outside rays.

Doctors recommend that you learn the ABCDE of skincare to educate yourself about the signs of skin cancer.

  • Asymmetry – one half unlike the other half
  • Borders – irregular or scalloped edges
  • Colour – different colours or shades of colours – can be white, red, black, or brown
  • Diameter – larger than 6 mm
  • Evidence – evidence of any change

If you see any changes in moles or marks on your skin that follow one of the ABCDE principles you should check with your doctor because early detection is key.