National Pharmacist Day on January 12th honors pharmacists and recognizes their important role in medical care. A pharmacist must be knowledgeable of the chemistry of all medicines and be able to offer information of a drug’s possible side effects. They understand and recognize the interactions with prescription medications and over-the-counter medications as well.
To address the growing misuse and diversion of prescription drugs, the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy created Ohio’s prescription drug monitoring program known as OARRS or the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System. Established in 2006, OARRS collects information on all outpatient prescriptions issued for controlled substances.
OARRS is a tool that can be used to address prescription drug diversion and abuse. It serves multiple functions including a patient care tool, drug epidemic early warning system and an insurance fraud investigative tool. As a statewide database, OARRS assists prescribers and pharmacists avoid potentially life-threatening drug interactions or overdoses. The system also identifies individuals fraudulently obtaining controlled substances from multiple physicians or “doctor shopping.”
Pharmacists are an important partner in the opioid public health crisis not only with the OARRS program, but pharmacists are often viewed by family members as a confidant and recognize signs and symptoms of addiction. In addition, CVS served as a leader in selling Narcan as an over-the-counter medication to reverse the effects of opioid overdoses. On January 12th, if you find yourself in the pharmacy wish your pharmacist well on their special day.