The Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition (AAC) displayed research that showed progress is being made in increasing awareness of the safe use of acetaminophen. One of the most common drug ingredients in the U.S., the data collected from the National Poison Data System showed a steady decline in the number of unintentional overdoses—whether through dosing errors or accidental misuses—since the peak year of 2009.
The purpose of the Know Your Does campaign, founded by the AAC in 2011, is to educate consumers on how to safely use acetaminophen. From back pain to cold and flu symptoms and headaches, acetaminophen has many practical medicinal uses, and 50 million Americans do so every week. This drug is also found in over 600 over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medicines.
Like most things, acetaminophen is safe and effective when it is used as directed; however, there are serious issues that can arise if the drug is taken more than recommended. Overdosing on acetaminophen can lead to liver damage and other health complications.
According to PR Newswire, “Know Your Dose has raised awareness of acetaminophen as a drug ingredient, armed healthcare providers with free educational materials for their patients, and encouraged consumers to follow four key safe use steps:
- Always read and follow the label
- Know if your medicines contain acetaminophen
- Take only one medicine at a time that contains acetaminophen
- Ask your healthcare provider if you have questions about dosing instructions or medicines that contain acetaminophen”
A survey conducted by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) noted that consumers who understand that exceeding the recommended daily dose of acetaminophen may lead to liver damage increased from 78 percent in 2010 to 87 percent in 2013. Additionally, the number of consumers who think it is important to check the medicine label for the maximum daily dose increased from 93 percent in 2010 to 98 percent in 2013.
The increased trend in consumer awareness, in addition to the decrease in unintentional overdoses, is a sign that efforts to educate consumers on the safe use of acetaminophen are working. John Whyte, M.D., M.P.H., director of FDA’s Professional Affairs and Stakeholder Engagement, stated that “acetaminophen is widely used and it’s extremely important that we educate patients and consumers about how to take it safely.”
At Paper Rx Solutions, we believe security is a very important aspect in prescription medicines. That is why all of our products meet—and exceed—the state and federal requirements for secure prescription paper. To learn more about our products and our security features, visit our website at www.paperrxsolutions.com today.
Myth: Making paper always destroys forests
Fact: Paper production supports sustainable forest management
By understanding the importance of forests and their contributions to our delicate ecosystems, North American paper manufacturers encourage forest sustainability through their purchases and use of certified wood fiber. Additionally, the paper industry promotes sustainable forest management policies and practices at home and around the globe. Landowners also manage their forestland responsibly instead of selling it for development because they know there is a dependable market for this responsibly grown fiber. Here are a few more facts about sustainable forest management provided by Two Sides:
- Claims like “go paperless—save trees” create a false impression that forests are a finite resource, being destroyed. In truth, North American forests are a renewable resource that is continuously replenished using sustainable forest management. (Dovetail Partners, 2014)
- Over the last six decades, the net total U.S. forest area has increased by over 3% and the net volume of trees on timberland has increased by 58%. In Canada, the forest cover has remained stable over the last two decades and less than 0.5% of Canada’s forest resource is harvested each year. (USDA Forest Service, 2012 & Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, 2014).
- Most pulpwood harvested in the U.S. (89%) comes from private land. The income landowners receive for trees grown on their land encourages them to maintain, sustainably manage, and renew this valuable resource. (USDA Forest Service, 2012)
- Avoiding the use of wood is not the way to protect forests for the long term. It is precisely the areas of the world that consume the least wood that continue to experience the greatest forest loss. (Dovetail Partners, 2014)
Myth: Packaging is wasteful and unnecessary
Fact: Paper based packaging protects goods, reduces waste, and is recyclable
Paper based packaging yields many benefits for consumers and the environment. Not only is the packaging made of recycled material, but it can be recycled, and past records indicate that this packaging has an excellent environmental record. The primary function of any type of packaging is to protect the product while it moves through transit, storage, and distribution cycles. By protecting the product, packaging extends the product’s shelf life. Another important function of packaging is to provide the consumer information about the product in addition to helping with brand identity and differentiation. In the developed world, efficient packaging has helped keep product damage during transit below 5%, whereas developing countries that do not have this type of packaging see rates as high as 30%. Using paper based packaging is an important aspect in reducing waste. According to Two Sides:
- Cardboard boxes are derived from a renewable resource and their strength-to-weight ratio provides superior product protection along with cost-savings and efficiencies throughout the supply-chain (Packaging World,2013)
- A study which compared the life cycle environmental impacts of plastic and corrugated cardboard boxes (CCB) for bread delivery concluded that the recyclable CCB box system was a more environmentally friendly option than the reusable HPDE plastic crate system. (Koskela, S. et al., 2014)
- “Most corrugated boxes manufactured in Canada are made from 100% recycled material: old boxes collected from the back of supermarkets and factories or from curbside.” (org, 2015)
- Greenhouse gas emissions of U.S. corrugated products declined by 32% between 2006 and 2010 due to increased recycling and more renewable energy use at paper mills. (National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, 2014)
- Today, more corrugated packaging is recovered for recycling than any other packaging material according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with supermarkets leading recovery efforts. Most stores recover nearly all of their used corrugated packaging in backroom balers. Bales of corrugated are then sold to generate revenue. (Canadian Corrugated and Containerboard Association, 2014)
Every year, thousands of people misuse prescriptions in order to obtain addictive prescription drugs. Pharmacists, doctors, and medical personnel must be aware of how prescription fraud occurs and what steps to take to prevent this fraud from occurring. Let’s take a closer look.
What is prescription fraud?
Prescription fraud can occur under many different forms. The general idea of prescription fraud is misrepresenting yourself to a doctor or pharmacist in order to obtain controlled substances (learn more from our blog here: http://www.paperrxsolutions.com/blogs/paper-rx-solutions-prescription-paper-and-pharmacy-blog/8325397-prescription-fraud-what-is-it).
This has become a serious problem in the United States in recent years, and the number of cases of prescription drug abuse continues to rise. In some cases, a legitimate prescription pad is stolen from a doctor’s office and prescriptions are written for fictitious patients, call back numbers may be changed, or abusers may create a copy of a prescription not written for them. These are just a few examples of prescription fraud.
What are the characteristics of prescription fraud?
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), characteristics of forged prescriptions may include:
- Prescription looks “too good;” the prescriber’s handwriting is too legible
- Quantities, directions or dosages differ from usual medical usage
- Prescription does not comply with the acceptable standard abbreviations or appears to be textbook presentations
- Prescriptions appear to be photocopied
- Directions written in full with no abbreviations
- Prescriptions written in different color inks or written in different handwriting
Other red flags for prescription fraud might include:
- The prescriber issues significantly more prescriptions (or in larger quantities) than other practitioners in your area.
- The patient returns too frequently. A prescription which should have lasted for a month if used legitimately is now being refilled on a bi-weekly, weekly, or potentially even daily basis.
- The prescriber issues a prescription for antagonistic drugs. For example, a prescription for depressants and stimulants at the same time. Drug abusers often write prescriptions for “uppers and downers” at the same time.
- A patient presents prescriptions written in the name of other people.
- A number of people appear simultaneously or within a short period of time, presenting similar prescriptions from the same physician.
- Numerous “strangers,” or people who are not regular patrons or residents of your community, suddenly show up with similar prescriptions from the same physician.
What can be done to prevent prescription fraud?
There are techniques that can be utilized in order to ensure the prescription presented is legal and truthful. One way is to take time to know the prescribers in your area and his or her signatures. This can be useful in spotting forged signatures that occur on stolen prescription pads. Furthermore, take time to know the prescriber’s DEA registration number which is required on all prescription forms. Also take time to know regular patients that walk through your practice, and be sure to check the date on the prescription order to see if it has been presented to you in a reasonable length of time since it was written.
What should be done if prescription fraud is found?
If you believe that the prescription presented to you has been forged, altered, or is a counterfeit prescription, do not dispense it. The DEA recommends that you call your local police. If you think that you see a pattern of prescription abuses, the State Board of Pharmacy and the local DEA offices are resources to turn to. Also make sure that your pharmacy staff is on board to help protect your practice from becoming a source for prescription drug diversion. By using common sense, sound professional practice, and proper dispensing procedures and controls, you can help ensure that patients are receiving the best medical care while helping to deter drug abusers.
At Paper Rx Solutions, our secure prescription paper meets and exceeds the security requirements established by the Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services. Our products can help ensure that prescriptions stay legal while providing exceptional value and customer service to our customers. Learn more about our products at www.paperrxsolutions.com.
Myth: Electronic communication is more environmentally friendly than print and paper.
Fact: Not necessarily. E-media also has environmental impacts.
Communications of all forms have some environmental impact. The “Go Paperless,” “Go Green,” and “Save Trees” are common themes as corporations and governments encourage the switch to electronic transactions and communications. However, “Going Green” is not always so black-and-white. Research from Two Sides shows that “8 in 10 U.S. consumers believe that cost savings are the driving force behind the ‘go paperless’ marketing hype.” Many consumers are also suspicious that the ‘save tress’ or ‘protect the environment’ campaigns will not actually do as they promise. It’s important to understand how both print and non-print forms of communication effect the environment. Here is research, conducted by Two Sides, that illustrates how e-media also leaves an environmental footprint.
- It is estimated that small network equipment is American’s homes consumed more than $1 billion worth of electricity in 2012, equivalent to the output of three large (500 MW) coal fired power plants. This resulted in 5 million metric tons of CO2 emissions or the annual tailpipe emissions of 1.1 million vehicles. (National Resources Defense Council, 2013)
- Data centers are one of the largest and fastest growing consumers of electricity in the United States. In 2013, U.S. data centers consumed as estimated 91 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity—enough electricity to power all the households in New York City twice over—and are on-track to reach 140 billion kilowatt-hours by 2020. (Natural Resources Defense Council, 2014)
- A study by Two Sides found that half the leading Fortune 500 telecommunications companies, banks and utilities were making unsubstantiated claims about the environmental benefits of electronic billing. In response, Two Sides initiated a campaign to educate senior executives on the sustainability of print and paper and to encourage them to abandon misleading environmental claims. To date, over 30 companies have removed their environmental claims and several more are working with Two Sides to develop language that does not contain misleading or factually incorrect environmental claims about the use of the online transactions and communications. (Two Sides, 2015)
Myth: Only recycled paper should be used.
Fact: Recycled fiber and wood fiber from well-managed forests are both essential to sustain the paper life cycle.
While recycling paper and reusing it in new products is good for the environment, there are other factors that influence paper’s environmental footprint. Curious to learn what exactly that means? Let’s take a look.
- After being recycled 7 times, paper fibers become too short and weak, causing them to break down. This is why it’s important that we have a continuous supply of fresh fiber harvested from responsibly managed forests. In the U.S. and Canada, the majority of this fresh fiber comes from sawmill chips which are a by-product of lumber production.
- Furthermore, North America benefits from a good supply of recycled fiber which is used locally to manufacture paper products. The re-use of this fiber is a sound environmental solution.
- Globally, 82% of recovered paper is used in tissue, container boards, and other packaging or board products. Approximately 6% of the recovered paper supply is used in printing and writing grades. (Sappi Fine Paper North America, 2013)
- Without fresh wood, the production of paper will cease within 6 to 18 months depending on the paper grade. (Metafore, 2006)
- At least 15% of paper products are permanently removed from the fiber cycle, such as one-time use products (ex: tissues, sanitary products, medical supplies) and books or files that are stored for long periods of time. (American Forest & Paper Association, 2011)
- “To make the global fiber cycle work, a continual input of 35% to 65% of fresh wood fiber is needed depending on the grade of the paper manufactured.” (Metafore, 2006)
Myth: People want digital over print.
Fact: Many consumers value paper-based communications.
Switching to digital is not always welcomed by consumers and many wish to retain the flexibility of paper-based, postal, and electronic communications. Even though it may seem that digital will soon replace paper, paper still holds a significant place in today's society. So, for all you paper-lovers out there, there's no need to worry. Paper will be around for a very long time, and here is why:
70% of Americans, including 69% of 18- to 24-year-olds, say they prefer to read print and paper communications rather than reading from a screen (Two Side, 2011)
Millennials overwhelmingly say they prefer paper. In fact, 60 out of 66 students preferred paper to computer when studying. Even though it is thought that this generation of students may have adapted to new technology, nearly everyone expressed a preference for paper, usually saying they felt they performed better when reading on paper rather than a screen. (Subrahmanyam, K. et al., 2013)
87% of adult Americans agree that “the main reason companies want to shift customers to electronic delivery formats is to save money, not to be environmentally responsible.” (Infotrends, 2013)
Even today, not everyone is computer savvy or has access to a computer. An integrated marketing strategy that includes both print and online components spans preferences and generations, allowing all to receive the message. (Verso Corporation, 2015)
81% of parents believe it is “very important” that their child read print books, citing the importance of print’s unique sensory and tactile experience. (Zickuhr, K., 2013)
“Research shows that consumers value the physical mailpiece as a record-keeping tool and reminder to pay.” (United States Postal Service, Office of Inspector General, 2015)
89% of adult Americans believe that “shifting customers/clients to online-only documents disadvantages some groups, such as the elderly, disabled, low income, and poorly educated.” (Infotrends, 2013)
Did you know that while there are federal laws for valid prescription paper, there are also different regulations by state? Some states require extra security features to ensure that the prescription paper used is truly valid in that state. Here is a list of differences between varying states.
In addition to the requirements set by the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS), Indiana also requires the following:
- A watermark reading "Indiana Security Prescription" must be printed on the back of the paper; these words must appear at a 45 degree angle, horizontally in a step-and-repeated pattern in 5 lines, using 12-point Helvetica bold type style
- Only one prescription may be written per blank. The following statement must be printed on the bottom of the pad: "Prescription is void if more than one (1) prescription is written per blank"
- Two signature lines printed at the bottom of the form: under the blank line on the left side must be printed the words, "Dispense as Written," under the blank line on the right side must be printed the words, "May Substitute"
Kentucky has many requirements in order to have valid prescription paper. In addition to the requirements set by the CMS, Kentucky also requires:
- A latent, repetitive "void" pattern screed at 5 percent in pantone green. This will appear if the prescription is photocopied
- A watermark shall be printed on the backside of the prescription blank so that it shall only be seen at a 45 degree angle. The watermark shall say, "Kentucky Security Prescription," and appear horizontally in a step-and-repeated format in 5 lines on the back of the prescription using 12-point, Helvetica bold type style
Texas requires that prescription paper not only contain the prescriber's DEA license number, but also the prescriber's DPS number as registered with the State of Texas.
In the state of Washington, prescription pads must contain the commission's seal of approval in order to be used. If the prescription paper does not contain this feature, it will be considered invalid.
At Paper Rx Solutions, we understand that you need secure, high-quality, and affordable thermal prescription paper. Our products meet all of the CMS and individual state requirements, so you can focus on the best healthcare plan for your patient. Plus, you can save up to 50% when you buy with us. For more information on our products, visit www.paperrxsolutions.com today!
In addition to the sustainable advantage of being made from a renewable resource, paper is the most recycled product in the world. Since we began tracking how much paper gets recycled in North America back in 1990, the recovery rate for used paper has increased dramatically. We’re not only recovering more, but we now know how to get the most environmental and economic benefits from using recycled paper in new products. Two Sides members support the implementation of effective recycling schemes and the minimization and eventual elimination of print and paper waste in landfills.
- One of the key environmental attributes of paper is that it can be easily recycled and used to make new products. In fact, paper is the most recycled material in the world today, with recovery rates ranging from 65 to almost 80% in North America, Western Europe and Japan.”
- The U.S. paper recovery rate rose from 63.5% in 2013 to 66.8% in 2015, the highest reading ever recorded. It measured 33.5% back in 1990, which was the base year against which the American Forest & Paper Association began setting its recovery goals. AF&PA member companies have set a goal to increase the U.S. paper recovery rate to more than 70% by 2020.
- “Revised estimates indicate that the amount of paper going to landfills in the U.S. has declined by nearly half since the year 2000, falling from an estimated 41 million tons to about 21 million tons in 2014.”
- “In the U.S. in 2013, more paper products were recovered (as a percent of generation) for recycling than any other material, including plastics (9%), glass (27%) and metals (34%).”
- “Canada has one of the highest recovery rates of waste paper and packaging in the world at 73%, significantly better than the international average of 56%.”
- The pulp and paper industry produces recyclable products made from renewable resources that are produced using renewable energy. Recycling is a key aspect of this circular economy— treating all materials, including by-products, as valuable resources rather than wastes. For example, a magazine can be shared with a friend, then recycled and converted to a cereal box, recycled again to make tissue and ultimately end up as compost. It is especially important to recover paper and other organic materials to avoid the generation of methane emissions in landfills.
- The benefits of paper recycling include: extending the supply of wood fiber; reducing greenhouse gas emissions that can contribute to climate change by avoiding methane emissions [which are released when paper decomposes in landfills or is incinerated]; reducing the amount of energy needed to produce some paper products; and saving considerable landfill space.
- Globally, recovered paper is the most important papermaking fiber raw material. In 2014, the world total share for papermaking was 56.6% and this is expected to reach 61.1% by 2030 (increase of 1.5% per year).
- Recovered paper is used worldwide and, “for many mills, is the dominant raw material in their production processes such that it has been the leading fiber source in volume terms for the last seven years in a row. At the same time, it should also be remembered that there is always a requirement for a complement of fresh fiber.”
- In 2014, over 90% of recovered paper in North America was used in grades other than printing and writing grades, such as newsprint, tissue, container boards, and other packaging or board products. This share is not forecasted to change by 2030.
- In North America, the share of recovered paper used in papermaking is expected to grow from 34.2% in 2014 to 39.3% in 2030 and most of that increase will be in containerboards.
- Data for 2014 indicate that 33% of the paper and paperboard recovered in the U.S. went to produce containerboard (i.e. the material used for corrugated boxes) and 12% went to produce boxboard, which includes folding boxes and gypsum wallboard facings. Exports of recovered paper to China and other nations accounted for 39% of the paper collected for recycling.
- Most paper in North America is made from sawmill residues and recovered paper. Only 36% of the U.S. timber harvest is used each year in manufacturing paper and paperboard.13 In Canada, 87% of the wood fiber used to make paper comes from sawmill residues (59%) and recycled paper (28%).
- The paper recycling segment of the scrap recycling industry collects, sorts, and processes the recovered fiber into specification grade products that were valued at $7.8 billion in the U.S. in 2014. These products are sold and transported to paper mills at home and worldwide for production into new packaging, office paper, tissue, newsprint, and a multitude of other paper products. In the U.S., approximately 76% of paper mills rely on recovered fiber to make some or all of their products due in part to recovered paper’s significant cost and energy savings. In addition, the paper and fiber recovered helps to meet growing overseas demand: recovered paper was exported to more than 85 different countries in 2014 at a value of approximately $3.2 billion, not including the tremendous environmental benefits and energy savings, while significantly helping the U.S. balance of trade.
Steroid use within sporting events has always captured the attention of the media across the nation--and the world. While banning all prescription steroid use helps keep the game fair, it can also keep athletes out of the game entirely.
The mission of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) looks to preserve the integrity of competition, inspire true sport, and protect the rights of U.S. athletes; a noble and valuable mission. But what about those athletes who need prescription steroids for a health condition? After many years of consideration, the USADA has changed their stance on the matter.
Called the Recreational Competitor Therapeutic Use Exemption, the new rule allows master and amateur athletes to compete in low-level competitions while taking banned substances. In order to do so, the athlete must prove to the USADA that the individual actually has a medical need for the banned substance. Additionally, he or she must also prove that they are unlikely to win one of the amateur races.
In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, the USADA said, "Out of fairness to those non-competitve athletes, we put in place a process that allows for them to compete while still requiring a fair and reasonable review of each recreational athlete's medical situation."
Testosterone is the most commonly-used, well-known doping chemical in sports history, as it can boost muscle mass and improves recovery. However, there are men who have low testosterone levels and other conditions--such as Parkinson's disease--that require testosterone steroids for medical use. In men with naturally low levels, supplemental testosterone would, theoretically, provide no advantage over other competitors. But, until now, any steroid use for any reason has meant no game for competitors.
Many athletes have felt that this is an unfair stance since using doctor-prescribed steroids is for medical reasons, not to boost the possibility of winning a competition. Lawyer Howard Jacobs, who represents high-profile athletes accused of doping, sees this new rule as a compromise.
This means good news to all those athletes with a medical condition that requires steroid treatment! Now, instead of having to choose health over competition, athletes have an option to potentially have both.
At Paper Rx Solutions, we produce high-quality prescription paper to help ensure that prescription medicine stays in the hands of those who need it. Our products meet and exceed the requirements established by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services at affordable prices. To learn more about our products, check out our website at www.paperrxsolutions.com.