The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

October 29, 2012

Seniors pose drug questions at forum

By Jim Krencik
Medina Journal-Register

Medina Journal-Register — MEDINA — Red Ribbon Week is designed to address issues of drug safety for all ages, and for the seniors at Ricky Place, there was much to address at an “Ask a Pharmacist” event Friday.

Paul Grout, R.Ph., of the Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy spoke with seniors and nursing students from Genesee Community College about a variety of prescription drug-related issues.

Grout offered his views on what to do if a pill regimen is missed, how generic medications hit the market and the best ways to secure their pills. The discussion also touched on how to dispose of medication.

“Don’t flush, bring the bottle to the pharmacy,” Grout said. “We can’t take in controlled drugs ... those can be picked up on Take Back Days.”

GCASA Community Specialist Diana Fulcomer said that 270 lbs. of those drugs were received in Orleans County last month. 

Grout told the group that new legislation to make prescription filing safer and less susceptible to fraud will help, but haven’t been fully rolled out. He was less optimistic about the safety of prescriptions bought through the mail or online.

“I’m biased, but with drugs from the Internet you don’t know what you’re getting,” Grout said. “I don’t think it’s good medicine ... there’s no face-to-face interaction.”

Grout said his most important advice was to never be afraid to call if any of the seniors were unsure about their medications.

“If you don’t know, ask,” Grout said. “You need to take control, know what you’re on ... don’t assume.”

The forum was scheduled by the Genesee Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse. Fulcomer said Just Older Youth group at Ricky Place has been a good partner.

‘J.O.Y. is all about activities and education,” Fulcomer said of the group, which is planning a trip of sites around the county. “I’m hoping to offer these programs for other groups.”

The nursing students were on hand as part of a class requirement to speak about healthcare proxies. Most of the attendees already have established plans for making life-changing decisions in the event of a health crisis.