Demand Mandatory Patient Counseling on Prescription Drugs for New Jerseyans

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To ensure patients in New Jersey receive transparent and advance disclosure of critical medication safety risks, we are demanding statewide legislation in New Jersey 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 all patients receive critical safety information, as listed on FDA-approved drug labels section 17 “Patient Counseling Information”. This counseling would include the sharing, from provider-to-patient, of vital information on known potential adverse drug reactions, side effects, drug-drug interactions, dosage, and other information necessary for safe and effective use of the medication.

This 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 New Jersey, Administrative Code Section 13:39-7.21: “Patient Counseling” states that pharmacists are required to “make reasonable efforts to counsel the patient or the patient’s caregiver,” but does not require that patient counseling is delivered. In fact, prescribers of medications are not even required to offer patient counseling on prescribed drugs.

Pharmacists should remain available to counsel patients, but how can the persons prescribing medications not be required to deliver patient counseling on those prescriptions too?

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 New Jersey pharmacies by payers totaled over 100 million (104,101,027), totaling over $11 billion ($11,442,428,793) in sales. During that same year, retail prescription drugs per capita was 11.7.

Mandating patient counseling in New Jersey, from prescriber to patient, will help the 8.8 million people that call New Jersey home.

Sign this petition to demand that the state of New Jersey makes patient safety a greater priority with mandatory patient counseling. Let’s demand that New Jersey 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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