Demand Mandatory Patient Counseling on Prescription Drugs for Utahns

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To ensure patients in Utah receive transparent and advance disclosure of critical medication safety risks, we are demanding statewide legislation in Utah that will mandate all prescribers deliver patient counseling for prescribed drugs, per a medication's FDA-approved label section 17 "Patient Counseling Information".

Mandatory patient counseling would ensure that patients receive critical safety information, as listed on FDA-approved drug label section 17 “Patient Counseling Information”. This counseling would include sharing, from provider-to-patient, of vital information on potential adverse drug reactions, side effects, drug-drug interactions, dosage, and other information necessary for safe and effective use of the medication.

This mandate is important because patients may not receive this information in advance, are unlikely to read this specific section of labeling information before spending money to buy their prescriptions, and may not understand the specific information listed in section 17. 

Without these mandates in place, patients are more likely to misuse prescription medication or fail to self-monitor for potential safety issues, leading to different results, injury, or even death. 

This is not fair. 

In Utah, the current Pharmacy Practice Act Rule (see "58-17b-613 Patient counseling") requires pharmacies to offer counseling to patients, but does not require that patient counseling is delivered per section 17 "Patient Counseling Information", including to all patients, prior to purchasing their medication(s). Prescribers (examples: physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants) are not even required to offer, much less deliver, patient counseling on the drugs being recommended to their patients. 

By the time a patient is at the pharmacy to pick up and pay for their prescription, the offer to counsel a patient is of little benefit and, ideally, the prescriber would have a conversation with their patient, providing counsel on the prescription and ensuring that the patient understands all purported benefits and potential risks, including how to properly use the medication per the FDA-approved drug label section 17. This would also allow a patient to ask for a different medication before a prescription is sent to the pharmacy if they do not feel comfortable with the medication recommended, making the process more efficient for each of the patient, prescriber, and pharmacist. 

In 2019, the number of retail prescription drugs filled at Utah pharmacies by payers totaled over 30 million (30,006,632) equating to more than $3 billion ($3,622,498,053) in sales. During that same year, retail prescription drugs per capita was 9.4. Between 2000 to 2015, Utah had a 400% increase in deaths due to prescription drug misuse.

With the increase in prescribing, the numbers of prescription drug-related deaths and injuries tend to rise as well. Mandatory patient counseling has to happen because it will help the 3.2 million people who reside in Utah and depend on medications to heal or treat, not cause harm. 

Sign this petition to demand that the state of Utah makes patient safety a greater priority with mandatory patient counseling. Let’s demand that Utah legally requires mandatory patient counseling be delivered by prescribers of prescription drugs and at the point of care.

To contact Safest Drug, get involved on this issue, or to learn more about actions toward fighting against medication harms, visit our website at Safest Drug is a nonprofit organization with a mission to prevent and alleviate medication-related illness, disability, and death within the United States. 

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