Tamper Resistant RX Pads: Essential Security Options

Prescription BlanksAccording to Express Scripts, over 16,000 Americans die from prescription drug overdoses each year. In some cases, the overdoses result from taking too much prescribed medication. However, prescriptions that are forged using prescription pads (a.k.a. RX pads) that are stolen from hospitals and doctor offices also account for a significant percentage of overdoses that cause death or E.R. visits. One reason why is because stolen prescription pads are often used to fill schedule II medications (e.g. opioid derivatives) that have a high potential for abuse.

Using Tamper Resistant RX Pads
When stolen RX pads are used to fill prescriptions fraudulently, the perpetrator often “pharmacy shops”, presenting multiple prescriptions to as many different pharmacies as possible in hopes of avoiding detection. However, in some U.S. states, pharmacies have access to a central database that shows what prescriptions were filled, where they were filled, and when.

Such a system makes it easier for pharmacies to identify prescription drug abusers, but the success rate for most systems has yet to reach 100 percent. In some cases, the forger is only caught after he or she runs out of legitimate prescription pads and tries to use the last blank sheet from a pad to create more blank scripts. When stolen pads are tamper resistant RX pads, the attempt to create new, blank scripts can be thwarted by the following security features.

  • A pantograph that reveals the hidden word “void” when the paper is copied or scanned
  • Color match technology that prevents the color of the pad’s paper from being copied
  • Microprint protection in which microtext in a box on the paper is difficult to copy
  • A hard to copy watermark that is manufactured onto the back of blanks scripts

Additional security options available for our tamper resistant RX pads include: blue paper that highlights attempted erasure alterations, acid-free paper that helps to preserve the script for a long period of time, a watermark that darkens when it is scratched with a hard object, and a description of all security options that is printed in a small box on the back of each script.

Need Tamper Resistant RX Pads?
Our tamper resistant RX pads are perfect for physicians who are hospitalists or private practitioners and have experienced fraudulent use of their prescription pads. The security features of our pads are especially helpful for physicians who frequently prescribe scheduled medications that have abuse potential, such as psychiatrists, pain management specialists, and sleep doctors that prescribe CNS depressants that aid the treatment of insomnia.

In addition to supplying stock tamper resistant RX pads, we also supply custom tamper resistant RX pads that are designed for unique personalization of a specific customer (e.g. logo, address, phone). If you know what you need, simply select it from our product pages and place your order online. For questions about our products or to place your order with a live attendant, please call us at (800) 325-6137. We look forward to helping you curb forged prescriptions and their potentially deadly results.

For Pharmacies: The Benefits of Medication Adherence

Primary-Care-PharmacistsMedication adherence is a relatively simple concept that many patient populations have trouble putting into practice. According to Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), “32 million Americans use three or more medicines daily.” However, among these patients, “75% of adults are non-adherent in one or more ways.” The PhRMA estimates that non-adherent patients cost the U.S. health care system millions of dollars in avoidable costs, stating: “The economic impact of non-adherence is estimated to cost 0 billion annually.”

The Cost Factor Extrapolated
At Drug Package, one of our core reasons for providing innovative medication packaging that improves medication adherence is to help keep healthcare costs under control — and not just for insurance companies, for everyone. When patients fail to take medication as prescribed they often end up back in the hospital or at doctor’s office creating more expense for themselves and insurance companies. The more payable claims that are submitted to insurers, the more they must increase insurance premiums to maintain their bottom line. Ultimately, the increases can make insurance too costly for some patients, and thus increase the likelihood of non-adherence.

How Pharmacies Can Benefit
Despite being viewed as drug dispensaries that simply provide medication that physicians prescribe, pharmacies play a crucial role in supporting medication adherence, especially in terms of providing medication packaging for populations that have difficulty maintaining adherence. A pharmacy can’t be with a patient every time he should take his medicine, but it can provide unique packaging solutions that help him take the medication as prescribed.

Blister packs are an example of medicine packaging that pharmacies can use to help increase adherence rates. These packs, which separate single pills — or collections of pills that should be taken simultaneously — into plastic blisters that can easily be punched, help keep patients on the dosing schedule that their physician establishes. Blister packs can do this in several ways.

  • Providing schedules for multiple daily doses
  • Make medicine easier to access for the motor-impaired
  • Show patients or caregivers at a glance if a dose has been missed

At Drug Package, the main goal of our drug packaging solutions is to help pharmacies assist patients with medication compliance. However, by extension, increasing compliance also increases benefits to pharmacies. If your pharmacy is interested in promoting the multiple benefits that come from our unique medication packaging, call us today at (800) 325-6137, or complete our contact form. We look forward to serving you!

How Can a Pharmacist Impact Medication Compliance?

Patients who comply with physicians’ prescribing directions tend to experience better health outcomes than patients who don’t. However, improving medication compliance is a task that can be addressed by more than just physicians. Pharmacists can also play a pivotal role in increasing compliance when they implement strategies that reduce barriers to taking medication as prescribed. Below are a few examples of strategies pharmacists can use to improve compliance.

  1. Medication Compounding

Some patients must take medications in milligram amounts that are not available from pharmaceutical manufacturers. Instead of using the practice of pill cutting to achieve the right doses, patients are often prescribed compounded medications that contain exactly the right amount of different medicines. Because pill cutting is so inaccurate, even patients who perform it regularly to remain in compliance can end up being non-compliant due to imprecise doses.

  1. Unique Medicine Packaging

Pharmacies dispense most medications in pill bottles, which works fine for patients that don’t have trouble with medication-adherencemedication compliance. However, for patients who experience barriers (missed dosage, difficulty opening bottles, complex dosing regimens, etc.), medicine packaging that can help overcome barriers is helpful. Using a blister pack for medicine administration can help alleviate some of these issues. The pills punch easily through the foil backing paper and at a glance a patient can see a missed dose. Pharmacists can prepack the pills in blister packs, or provide information about multi dose packaging such as the Multi Med Home Care Kits that are available for patients taking multiple medications.

  1. Thorough Consultative Advice

Many pharmacy customers have taken their medications for months or years and do not need advice on how or when to take it. However, customers that are filling their first, long-term prescription often have several questions about the medicine that a pharmacist can answer well. By providing thorough consultative advice to new prescription users, pharmacists can help them feel more confident about taking the new medicine, which help support medication compliance.

Take Advantage of Our Medication Packaging

Unique medication packaging such as the kind that Drug Package offers is one strategy among many for increasing medication compliance. Some examples of populations that this applies to are: the motor impaired, those who experience memory problems, and people who have prescription dosing regimens that are difficult to follow.

Choosing medication packaging options for these populations and others should be done with advice of a pharmacy supplier that specializes in providing such options. This is where Drug Package enters the picture. For over a century, we have helped pharmacies support medication compliance by providing innovative medication packaging, and we can assist your pharmacy, too. To start the process of implementing new prescription packaging, call us at (800) 325-6137.

Blank Pharmacy Labels: 4 Tips for Choosing the Right Supplier

Blank pharmacy labels are used for various applications, with the most common one being labeling prescription medication bottles. At first glance, there is not a great difference between labels from one supplier and labels from another, but on closer inspection, you will find that some suppliers of blank pharmacy labels are better positioned to meet your requirements than others. If you need assistance choosing the right supplier of blank labels, the four tips below can help.

  1. Choose a Supplier That Specializes in Creating Pharmacy Labels

Some suppliers of blank pharmacy labels sell labeling solutions for various industries. While this is not a bad thing, it nonetheless shows that the supplier does not specialize in your specific area of need. This type of supplier frequently provides ready-made pharmacy labels but has limited flexibility to offer label customizations that accommodate special medications and patient populations. This is why it is best to select a supplier that specializes in pharmacy labels.

  1. Choose a Supplier That Meets the Full Range of Labeling Needs

The labeling options your pharmacy needs a year from now may not be the same options it requires today. This is why it is important to choose a supplier whose products meet a wide range of labeling needs, such as Drug Package. We offer laser labels, thermal labels, computer labels, dual web form labels, and commercial labels. View our label products catalogue today!

  1. Select a Supplier That Can Develop a Custom Layout for Labels

Your pharmacy may not need custom labels right now, but selecting a supplier that can develop a custom layout for blank pharmacy labels is a smart choice for the future. If and when your pharmacy needs a custom solution, the supplier can provide you with the product you need with the same turnaround time that you received for the previous, non-customized labeling solution.

  1. Choose a Supplier That Accommodates Multiple Printing Systems

As with selecting a supplier that can develop custom labeling solutions, choosing a supplier that accommodates multiple types of label printing systems is an excellent choice for the future. For example, if you switch from a dot matrix printing system to a laser printing system, the changeover would be more hassle-free and less time consuming if you simply implemented a new printing system instead of having to find a new supplier of blank pharmacy labels, as well.

Need Blank Pharmacy Labels?

If you operate a pharmacy that needs a new supplier of labeling products, Drug Package can provide products that make the labeling process highly efficient and accommodate the changing needs of the pharmacy’s labeling system over time. We can even supply you with custom blank pharmacy labels that are designed to meet the unique set of labeling needs that your pharmacy requires for dispensing certain types of medications and serving different patient populations.

For more information about our blank pharmacy labels and other essential pharmacy products, call us toll-free at (800) 325-6137, or simply request a quote here, today!

Laser Pharmacy Labels: How Can They Benefit Your Pharmacy?

Xerox Corporation pioneered laser printing technology in the 1960s. Since then, laser printing has gone from being a niche technology to a widely accepted practice in various industries, including the pharmacy industry. Switching from conventional pharmacy labels to laser pharmacy labels holds several benefits for pharmacies that are willing to make the change. Below are four excellent examples of how using laser printed labels can assist your pharmacy.

  1. High-Speed Printing

Compared to inkjet printers and dot matrix printers, digital printers work with exceptional speed. To quantify the point, consider that personal laser printers are capable of printing of roughly 24 pages per minute and nearly 2,000 pages a week with great efficiency. High-performance, commercial grade laser printers can work even faster. Implement a laser printing system and say goodbye to slow print rates that increase the wait time of pharmacy customers.

  1. No Printing Mistakes

In addition to working with great speed, laser printers create laser pharmacy labels with excellent accuracy, a benefit that results from the printers’ electrophotography technology. Applying ink directly to the label can create smears and blotches that obscure prescription information. Because they don’t use ink, laser printers avoid this type of mistake. In doing so, they help support productivity by reducing rework that results from poorly printed labels.

  1. Quiet Printing Process

Unlike old printing technologies for prescription labels, such as inkjet printing and dot matrix printing, laser printing delivers a quiet printing process. Pharmacies experience several forms of noise as they go about dispensing prescriptions, from placing pills in bottles to consulting with customers. Laser printers remove the racket associated with older printing technologies and make the pharmacy environment a more pleasant place for pharmacists and customers.

  1. User-Friendly Printers

Laser printers don’t require you to replace ink reservoirs or ink ribbons, which helps reduce the barrier of entry for properly maintaining the equipment. When the print on laser printed labels starts to fade, simply replace the easy-to-install toner cartridge and return to printing. The job can be often done by pharmacy employees instead of a third party printer technician. This arrangement helps pharmacies save money on operating costs and add to the bottom line.

Save Money With a Stocking Program
Speaking of saving money, one of the most cost effective ways for pharmacies to migrate from an old printing technology to laser printing technology is to purchase laser pharmacy labels in bulk. Switching to laser printing requires upfront investments for new equipment, employee training, and new prescription labels, but the cost of the changeover is reduce when you order labels through a supplier that offers a label stocking program, such as Drug Package.

To learn how much you could save on laser label printing costs by using our stocking program, call us at (800) 325-6137, or request a quote here, today. If necessary, we can even create custom labels that meet your unique needs, and supply the product on an ongoing basis through the program. We look forward to helping you support your system for laser pharmacy labels!

Differences Between OTC Labels and Prescription Labels

People visit pharmacies to purchase two types of medicine: prescription medicine that a doctor prescribes and over-the-counter (OTC) medicine that can be purchased without a physician’s advice or approval. Both types of drugs can play an important role in patient health outcomes.

However, the key to achieving good outcomes partially depends on how customers interpret the user information for OTC and prescription medicines. Pharmacists can contribute to good health outcomes by explaining the difference between the medicines concerning the following areas.

Indicators for Stopping Medicine
OTC medicines typically spell out on the back of the package when a person should stop taking them in the event of bad side effects, but that information may not appear on prescription labels. Rather, it is often contained in the fine print of the information flyer that comes with a prescription. When a patient starts taking a new prescription, a pharmacist may help him or her achieve the best result by pointing out indicators for stopping the medication that are printed in the flyer.

Indicators for Continuing to Take Medicine
Prescription medications typically indicate whether a patient should continue taking them by supplying refill information, in addition to prescribing guidelines that his or her physician provides. If the medication contains refills, a pharmacist may find it helpful to alert the customer to this fact, as well as provide information on negative health conditions that could arise if the medication were stopped after its initial supply runs out, in order to help support a good health outcome.

Using a Medicine to Treat Certain Maladies
Prescription labels seldom indicate the condition for which medicine is taken, as the patient receives this information from his or her physician. OTC medicine packaging, on the other hand, commonly lists conditions the medicine treats. In some cases, a doctor recommends OTC medicine for a condition that isn’t listed on the package. If this confuses the patient, the pharmacist should explain how the medicine can help the patient, if such information is available.

Directions for Storing a Medication
OTC medicine packaging often includes information about how the medicine should be stored to sustain its efficacy. As with other types of essential information, prescription labels rarely list such directions. Instead, storage protocols are often buried in the fine print of the flyer that comes with the medicine. Because how a medication is stored can have a major impact on its therapeutic effect, the pharmacist may wish to direct a patient to the location of this information.

Need High-Quality Prescription Labels?
After over 130 years in the business of supplying pharmacies with prescription labels and other essential pharmacy products, Drug Package can safely say that not all prescription labels are created equal, and the same can be said for OTC medicine labels. Unfortunately, we cannot control the quality of the latter; you must make that assessment on your own. However, we can supply the best prescription labels for the needs of your pharmacy and its customers.

For more information about options for our prescription labels, including the creation of custom prescription labels, call us at (800) 325-6137, or request a quote here, today! We look forward to supplying you with the best labeling products for your pharmacy and its customers!

Custom Pharmacy Labels: When Are They Needed?

Pharmacies commonly order pharmacy labels that are pre-designed to meet common labeling needs, but there are also times when pharmacies need custom pharmacy labels that a drug package company who creates custom products can supply. There are any number of situations in which pharmacies may require custom medicine labels for the medications that they dispense. Below are four common examples of situations that indicate need for custom pharmacy labels.

  1. Compounded Medications That Have a Unique Formulation

Some patients need compounded medications that feature two or more medicines in one solution. Often, these medicines have uncommon dosages that are impossible to order from a pharmaceutical manufacturer. Along with custom dosages comes the need for custom pharmacy labels that indicate how the medication should be taken and its potential side effects. When it comes to compounded medications, custom labels may be ordered on a one-off basis.

  1. New Prescription Medications That Recently Hit the Market

New prescriptions that feature unique formulations often have different usage protocols than medicines that already exist, even when they are in the same class as the new one. Naturally, most pharmacies wish to offer their customers the latest prescriptions available to improve patient health outcomes. To help accomplish this, pharmacies may require custom labels for medications that were just released.

  1. Need to Provide Special Assistance for Special Populations

Custom pharmacy labels are also required to address the unique needs of special patient populations. For example, visually impaired customers may need labels that contain prescription information in braille. As another example, customers who are blind to certain colors may require auxiliary labels that feature prominent colors that color blind individuals can see with ease.

  1. New Information About the Effects of an Existing Medication

Throughout their lifespan, medications are tested to judge their efficacy — or their lack of efficacy, as the case may be — for treating certain conditions. In some cases, tests reveal crucial information about a medication that was previously unknown. When that information can impact health outcomes, it should be prominently featured on a pharmacy label for the medicine. In this situation, what is originally a custom label may become applied as a standard practice.

Contact Drug Package Today
Custom pharmacy labels help pharmacists address a variety of situations in which medications need custom labeling options to provide crucial dosing information and information about side effects to pharmacy customers. Along with the benefits provided to the customer, many pharmacies use custom labels to promote their brand. These labels often live in medicine cabinets for months, so pharmacies should take advantage and make the best use of pharmacy labels through branding. If your pharmacy is looking for an experienced supplier of custom pharmacy labels, using us as your trusted pharmacy label provider is the answer.

We have over 130 years of experience in supplying pharmacies with the labeling products they need to help improve medication adherence, provide information about side effects, and, ultimately, improve patient health outcomes. For more information about our custom pharmacy labels and other products, call us at (800) 325-6137, or request a quote today. We look forward to supplying you with the labels you need to best serve customers!

Essential Considerations for Choosing Prescription Forms

Different prescription forms contain different information, but there are some types of data that all pharmacy prescription labels should contain. For pharmacists, it is important not only to include the right information on prescription forms. They must also choose the right size of labels for the data that must be printed, choose labels that contain a sufficiently strong adhesive, and choose labels whose surface quality works well with the pharmacy prescription label printing system.

Choosing the Right Label Size
The information on prescription forms is printed in various font sizes. Consequently, when it comes to choosing the right label size, it is as essential to determine how large the information will be printed as it is to determine what will be printed. The following pieces of information are typically essential to include, as they provide customers with information that they need to take medication as prescribed, and refill the medication after the previous supply is exhausted.

  • Pharmacy name and address
  • Name of prescribing physician
  • Prescription identification number
  • Prescription fill date
  • Name of patient
  • Dosing instructions
  • Name of drug and its strength
  • Number of refills
  • Prescription expiration date

Drug Package has the capability to produce custom labels that best match your pharmacy’s dispensing practices considering data prescription forms must contain and the manner in which it must be presented. We recognize that many pharmacies also want their brand name to be attractively printed on the label along with prescription data. We will work with you to create labels that are highly efficacious for customers and attractively feature your business name.

Selecting the Right Label Adhesive
In general, the more permanent the adhesive that coats the back of prescription forms, the better. Using labels that feature commercial grade adhesive helps prevent drug labels from being removed and swapped out with other labels (a common practice when abusing scheduled drugs). It also helps labels stay in place under hot or moist conditions, such as when medication is temporarily stored in a purse on a hot day or carried on one’s person in humid weather.

Choosing the Right Label Surface
For many pharmacies, choosing the right label surface involves two concerns: whether the label surface is designed to feature the type of ink a pharmacy uses (most pharmacies use indelible ink), and whether labels are designed for use with the label printer a pharmacy uses (most pharmacies use a laser printer or a dot matrix printer). The clarity of prescription labels is of great concern for pharmacies in terms of liability and meeting the needs of customers. Drug Package will provide you with labels that are specifically designed for your printing needs.

Need High-quality Prescription Forms?
If so, Drug Package — a veteran-owned provider of pharmacy label products and other essential pharmacy supplies — is here to supply what you need. We have over 130 years of experience in providing pharmacies with the products they need to help simplify the medication dispensing process, improve patient medication adherence, and help improve patient health outcomes. We are your one-source solution for everything pertaining to pharmacy packaging and labeling.

For more information about our prescription forms and other high-quality products, give us a call at (800) 325-6137, or request a quote today. We look forward to helping your pharmacy provide the best customer service and operate as efficiently as possible!

The Decline and Reemergence of Independent Pharmacies

If you were born in the 1950s or earlier, you may remember when most pharmacies were independent businesses that had a unique approach to serving customers in terms of products and services. Independent pharmacies still operate, but their path to success hasn’t been obstacle-free. One of the biggest obstacles has been weathering the emergence of big name pharmacies that draw in a large percentage customers who once used independent pharmacies.

The Decline of Independent Pharmacies
According to a June 2014 report by Fred Ullrich, BA, and Keith J. Mueller, PhD, from March 2003 to December 2013, 12.1 percent of independent pharmacies in the U.S. closed their doors, with the most closures occurring between 2007 and 2009. From 2010 to 2013, the closure trend remained relatively steady, but the decline in independent pharmacies isn’t as pronounced as it was in the previous decade — a fact that bodes well for the independent pharmacist future.

For small businesses that hope to remain profitable in the shadow of big businesses that offer the same products and services, adaptation is the name of the game. One of the primary reasons for the past decline in independent pharmacies is that they offered what big pharmacies did, only on a smaller scale. In order to stay in business, small pharmacies needed to develop unique value propositions that distinctly separated them from their big name counterparts.

In addition, independent pharmacies had to reevaluate their customer base in terms of geography. Big pharmacies have deep coffers that allow them to purchase or lease triple net (NNN) real estate that has highly desirable locations in terms of foot traffic, vehicle traffic, and visibility from main roadways. This fact only reinforced the view that the independent pharmacist future was contingent on developing a unique business model.

The Reemergence of Independent Pharmacies
Today, the decrease in closures of independent pharmacies is largely attributable to their development of business models that focus on serving local populations that have unique healthcare needs, such as the need for compounded medications and liquid suspension medications that can be time consuming or impossible to procure from big pharmacies, the need for highly personalized consultations, and the need to get durable medical equipment fast.

Ulrich and Mueller found that “490 rural communities that had one of more retail [pharmacies] (including independent, chain, or franchise [pharmacies] in March 2003 had no retail pharmacy in December 2013.” The decline of big pharmacies in rural areas during this period was largely revenue-based. Operating a brick and mortar store that didn’t deliver a high return on investment (ROI) meant that the business would relocate to a place that helped generate more revenue.

When the new, more profitable locations of big name pharmacies were combined with the superior marketing power of the businesses, many customers that once used independent pharmacies switched to using corporate pharmacies — a move that made many independent operations go out of business, and reinforced the fact that, if small pharmacies hope to be profitable, they need to offer products and services that large pharmacies often do not.

The Independent Pharmacist Future
The future success of independent pharmacists can be partially quantified by the unique products and services they specialize in supplying, such as compounded medications, a variety of durable medical equipment that can be purchased in store, and novel medication packaging that helps to simplify complex dosing regimens and provides all the information patients need to take their medications according to the recommendations of the prescribing physician.

As long as independent pharmacies use their independence to specialize in providing easy access to products and services that big pharmacies aren’t accustomed to offering, or don’t offer, they can create a dedicated customer base that is tired of breaking through the red tape at big pharmacies to have their special pharmacy healthcare needs met in a timely, affordable manner. The switch from a big pharmacy to an independent one is based on customer service.

How We Help Independent Pharmacies
Drug Package is dedicated to helping independent pharmacies thrive and not just survive. One of the ways we do this is by supplying unique medication packaging that increases medication adherence and helps improve patient health outcomes. The better their health outcomes, the more dedicated customers will be to using your pharmacy instead of a corporate one. By helping small pharmacies provide unique offerings, we help to secure the independent pharmacist future.

For more information about our medication packaging options and other products, call us at (800) 325-6137 to schedule a consultation, or email us today for more information.