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The Honest Apothecary

Massachusetts and the Opioid Overdose Epidemic

By Jason Poquette, BPharm, R.Ph

Medical professionals, law enforcement and politicians are scrambling to address what has been called an “opioid overdose epidemic” in Massachusetts.  Deaths related to the misuse of prescription pain relievers like hydrocodone and oxycodone are on the rise.  In 2012 we saw 668 documented cases of opioid-related overdose deaths.  Last year the number was 1089.  And according to some early research, 2015 looks like it will be even higher.

‘Tis the season...for Medicare Part D!

By Jason Poquette, Bpharm, R.Ph

Soon our green-garbed summer trees will be putting on their golden autumn apparel and covering our dying grass with a blanket of brilliant colors.  We can feel a bit of the nip in the air already.  Fall has arrived, bringing with her all the wonderful things we have come to expect of this time of year in New England: foliage, football and family fun.  And for our seniors, and anyone else eligible for Medicare, this time of year also introduces the enrollment period for Medicare’s prescription drug program, known as Medicare Part D.

What can your pharmacist do for you?

by Jason Poquette, BPharm, R.Ph

October is officially American Pharmacists Month. Well, at least it has been since 2004 when “National Pharmacy Week” (begun in 1925) was expanded.  I’m not sure assigning any profession a particular ‘week’ or ‘month’ is the key to promoting awareness.  Lately it seems ice buckets do a better job of that.  But for what it is worth, I am grateful for the career I’ve been allowed to pursue, and happy to take the opportunity to share some thoughts with my readers about it.

What? Why Was My Prescription Rescheduled?

by Jason Poquette

It has only happened a couple times in the course of my 20+ year pharmacy career.  And now it has happened two times in less than two months.  I am talking about the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) decision to reschedule tramadol as of August 18, 2014 and now hydrocodone combination products (HCP) as of October 6, 2014. 

Many patients have been asking questions about this.  I’m going to try and explain what happened and how it is likely to impact you.

Hobby Lobby and the Politics of Prevention


By Jason Poquette, Bpharm, R.Ph

I’ve never been a big fan of heated political debates.  On my blog I much prefer to focus on topics that provide helpful resources to patients and health care professionals alike.  But the recent Supreme Court decision about Hobby Lobby and their right to not cover certain forms of contraception has received so much attention that silence seems impossible.  Since the issue largely revolves around contraceptive products, which are pharmaceuticals, it would seem appropriate that a pharmacist should say something.