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NABP acquires AWARxE drug safety program
October 1st, 2010
MOUNT PROSPECT, Ill. – The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) has purchased AWARxE, a public awareness program by pharmacists to provide drug safety information and raise awareness about the dangers of medication abuse.
NABP said this week that through AWARxE it will step up its ongoing effort to educate the public about "rogue" web sites selling prescription drugs illegally. The campaign also will spotlight other issues, such as the dangers of not taking medications as directed, abuse of prescription and over-the-counter medicines, and how to use medications safely.
AWARxE was created and launched by the Minnesota Pharmacists Foundation in 2007 following the death of 24-year-old Justin Pearson from an accidental mixed drug overdose. Pearson, a resident of St. Cloud, Minn., had ordered the prescription drugs that led to his death from an illicit online pharmacy that didn't require a valid prescription. The drugs were dispensed from pharmacies around the country, including at least one in Minnesota.
NABP said it acquired the AWARxE program so that its message could be shared on a national level.
"NABP has heard too many stories like Justin's, and when the foundation approached us about taking the AWARxE campaign national, we knew we had been presented with an excellent opportunity to help save others from having a similar story," NABP president William Winsley explained. "Using the AWARxE consumer protection program as a vehicle, NABP aims to educate and raise public awareness about rogue Internet drug outlets, counterfeit medications and prescription drug abuse, among other serious issues."
The pharmacy association noted that since AWARxE's launch, the program has brought information about illegal drug sites and counterfeit medicines to the public through a dynamic Web site, YouTube videos and media outreach. AWARxE information is targeted to teens as well as adults, and besides raising awareness about the dangers of abusing medications, the program provides medication safety information and urges the public to rely on pharmacists for information on Internet pharmacies and counterfeit medications. The program has also partnered with D.A.R.E. to create training materials and public workshops.
NABP added that it will work with the foundation and other stakeholders to expand AWARxE to heighten awareness about other issues affecting public health, as well as pharmacists' key role in patient care. And as NABP further develops the program, it plans to provide state boards of pharmacy and other pharmacy organizations the opportunity to use AWARxE tools.