August 20— The West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute (WV DII), Inc. and Fruth Pharmacy have partnered to spread the word about medication safety during the months of August and September 2020. The two organizations have launched a medication safety initiative for families and young children using the Institute’s Don’t Keep Rex Around™ Medication Safety Program. The goal is to help educate Fruth customers and families of young children about the dangers prescription medications can pose in the home.
“After working with The West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute, we realized our pharmacists would be the best line of defense to help train people on how to dispose of unused or expired medications properly. It is our community responsibility to help remove drugs from homes where children and other at-high-risk persons may have access and be harmed. Fruth Pharmacy is committed to help educate students and their families on medication safety and disposal,” Lynne Fruth, President of Fruth Pharmacy shared.
The campaign will take place August 24, 2020 through September 30, 2020 and will include the distribution of medication disposal bags and counseling from Fruth pharmacists on proper medication disposal in 29 Fruth locations throughout West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio. Activity sheets and coloring pages will be available for children, including a coloring contest sponsored by Fruth Pharmacy. In addition, WV DII medication safety ambassador, Rex the Rx™ will air LIVE on August 28 with special guest, Fruth Pharmacy President, Lynne Fruth. This live program will share special messages about medication safety for families throughout the tri-state area. The program will air live at 3pm and can be viewed at: www.wvdii.org.
Created by WV DII President, Dr. Susan Bissett and CEO of Murphy Media, Joe Murphy, the program uses a live-action, real time generated, cartoon avatar (a pill bottle) named Rex™ to help educate young children about the importance of not touching medication without the help of a trusted adult and to never share medications. The program has been delivered to pre-k and kindergarten classrooms in five WV counties this past year. However, with schools shuttered due to COVID-19, the WV DII is taking a new approach bringing Rex™ to Fruth Pharmacy and LIVE online to share the importance of medication safety.
“During this time of social distancing and stay at home orders, families are closer in proximity than ever before,” explained Dr. Susan Bissett, WV DII President. “Life is disrupted and medications may be more accessible to small children. We are taking this opportunity to educate families about medication safety and proper storage of medication.”
Data released by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse in April 2018 reported a 93% annual increase in unintentional prescription medication exposure among children 5 and younger. The report also indicated that 9 of 10 unintentional childhood poisonings occur at home. In addition, poison control centers receive an average of 32 calls a day for children exposed to opioids—60% of those calls are for children under 5 years of age. And, 48% of all pediatric medication exposures are from grandparents’ medications.
You can learn more about the program by visiting: www.wvdii.org/rex.