There is a Fentanyl crisis in America. Despite its dangers, illegal amounts of fentanyl remain widely available in counterfeit prescriptions. As a result, there is an urgent need for increased public education about its potential dangers and its misuse.
The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) and The Aesthetic Society and are advising surgeons and healthcare professionals to inform their patients of the dangers associated with counterfeit medications, particularly those that contain fentanyl. The goal is to raise awareness about the use and sale of counterfeit prescription drugs and reduce the risks patients face.
Counterfeit medications purchased outside of a licensed pharmacy may contain harmful or even lethal amounts of fentanyl. They could also be improperly formulated and manufactured, leading to other side effects. Counterfeit pills are not only easily accessible but practically impossible to distinguish from genuine medications. This is one of many reasons why patients must be made aware of the dangers of purchasing prescriptions outside an accredited pharmacy. Medications should never be obtained without a prescription from a licensed healthcare professional. Even though this may seem obvious, the public is clearly not aware of the dangers of doing so.
In 2022, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (US DEA) revealed that six out of ten fentanyl-laced fake prescription pills contained lethal doses of the drug, and even more concerning fentanyl is the leading cause of death (in the U.S.) for young people aged 10-19. The lack of quality control is staggering, and at QUAD A, we believe that patient safety education concerning the fentanyl crisis is paramount.
One suggestion would be to provide patient education material on your facility's website and in pre-surgical materials regarding the risks of fake medications that contain fentanyl. Furthermore, surgeons should be alert to persistent opioid use and utilize alternative non-opioid pain management methods. This would help to ensure that patients are properly informed and aware of the risks associated with fake medications. It would also help to reduce the likelihood of them accidentally ingesting fentanyl. Additionally, by utilizing alternative pain management methods, surgeons can reduce the number of opioid prescriptions being given out, thus decreasing the potential for abuse.
QUAD A is committed to patient safety. Therefore, we have provided a range of educational resources and communications to help healthcare professionals and patients properly manage the risks associated with fentanyl. These resources provide the latest information and best practices to ensure that everyone has the necessary knowledge of fentanyl and other opioids related to pain management.
Please click the link below for our complete list of patient safety communications. The information is intended to help healthcare professionals make informed decisions about prescribing opioids. It also provides guidance and education for patients on the fentanyl crisis and the lethal risks of obtaining medication outside of a licensed pharmacy.
Informing your patients about fentanyl and its dangers can help save lives. Make your patients a priority and join the fight against the threat of fentanyl.
Patients First. Always.
Since 1980, QUAD A (a non-profit, physician founded and led global accreditation organization) has worked with thousands of healthcare facilities to standardize and improve the quality of health care they provide – believing that patient safety should always come first.
To learn more about QUAD A, their accreditation process, and why it’s so important to seek out accredited facilities when making healthcare related decisions, visit www.quada.org.