February 1, 2018
What the introduction of the Pain MedsCheck trial means for you
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt announced on the 25th of January that a new trial, named Pain Medscheck, will be introduced and will assist patients taking medication to deal with long term chronic pain.
This new program will allow for community pharmacists to evaluate and review a patient’s medicine to ensure that adequate pain management support is provided. The introduction of this trial comes at an important time, with pain and cold and flu medication containing codeine becoming prescription only from the 1st of February.
Patients with chronic pain issues will be encouraged to sit down with their pharmacist, discuss their analgesics and any other medication they are on and provide a plan to help resolve their issues.
Having a plethora of medicine no longer used at home, especially if you are someone who suffers from or are looking after someone with chronic pain, can be extremely dangerous. This medicine stockpiling could lead to medication misuse or accidental poisoning, and ultimately possible mismanagement of pain. If you know someone with chronic pain or you are dealing with chronic pain, ensure that medicine cabinets are checked and you correctly dispose of any out of date or unwanted medicines. This can be done by your local pharmacy, where the pharmacist can dispose of them in the RUM bin.
The correct way to dispose of medicines properly is to follow the three simple steps of:
READ: Go to the areas in your home where you store medicines. Read the labels, check expiry dates and review all medicines. Consider whether you actually need them.
REMOVE: Remove all expired and unwanted medicines from your home medicine area and place them in a bag or container. If the medicine comes in a cardboard box, that can be recycled separately.
RETURN: Return your expired and unwanted medicines to your local pharmacy. Your pharmacist will put them in a secure bin for safe disposal. Prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, herbal or complementary supplements, gels, liquids, creams and veterinary medicines can all be disposed of in a designated The RUM Project bin.
The Return of Unwanted Medicines Project is a free service that offers a way to dispose of unwanted or expired medicines safely and conveniently at your local community pharmacy. Find out more about the service here.