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National Pharmaceutical Event Addresses Gluten in Medications

NFCA holds educational session at American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Annual Meeting

National Foundation Celiac Awareness (NFCA) President and Founder Alice Bast will raise awareness of celiac disease among thousands of pharmacists as she presents at The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Annual Meeting and Exposition, held March 12th-15th, 2010 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC.

The APhA invited Bast to speak as an expert on the subject of celiac disease and to educate pharmacists about the signs and symptoms, the issue of gluten in medications, and considerations for treating patients on a gluten-free diet. She will present Hard To Stomach: IBD, IBS, and Celiac Disease Sunday, March 14th, 2010 from 7:00 AM  - 9:00 AM, alongside Brian Hemstreet, PharmD, BCPS, of the University of Colorado at Denver School of Pharmacy.

“‘Just take a pill.’ Sounds easy, doesn’t it? As those with celiac disease know, taking any pill, even medication designed to cure illness, can possibly make matters worse,” says Bast “Gluten can be a hidden ingredient in the medicines we take, both over-the-counter medications and those offered via prescription. This is a very real problem that needs to be addressed—now! This affects both diagnosed celiacs struggling to manage their lifelong gluten-free diet, as well as the 2.9 million who have not yet been diagnosed, and may not be properly absorbing medication due to their unknown condition.”  
Held each spring, The APhA Annual Meeting & Exposition brings more than 6,000 total members representing all aspects of the profession including student pharmacists, practitioners, scientists, technicians and representatives of the pharmaceutical industry for the four day affair. Attending members include pharmacists from chain, independent, hospital, federal, long-term care and other practice settings.

The Annual Meeting & Exposition boasts more than 80 educational sessions and workshops covering developments in patient care, therapeutics, pharmacy law, and pharmaceutical science and technology.
Hard To Stomach: IBD, IBS, and Celiac Disease will address:

    •    Similarities and distinctions among IBD, IBS, and celiac disease.
    •    Various categories of medications used in the management and treatment of IBD, IBS, and celiac disease.
    •    Adverse events associated with various categories of medications used in the treatment of IBD, IBS, and celiac disease.
    •    How to educate patients about medical management options for IBD.
    •    How to educate on gluten-free diets to avoid health care products that contain gluten.

Medical professionals attending this educational session are eligible to will receive 0.2 Continuing Education (CEU) credits.

“So bright an early, but so very exciting!” says Bast “Our goal is to educate the Pharmacists about celiac disease, the issue of gluten in medication, and gain their participation in bringing a solution to this problem. We want them to become your partner on your road to health and wellness. This matter is at the heart of NFCA’s motto: restore health and reclaim lives.”

For information about the APhA Annual Meeting & Exposition, and NFCA’s educational session, visit their offical website:

NFCA has worked extensively to raise awareness of celiac disease within the pharmaceutical industry, co-creating Continuing Education (CE) programming and events for pharmacists along with American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) back in 2008, and recently participating in the FDA Public Workshop about Prescription Drug Risks and Benefits in September 2009. The organization is dedicated to working with lead government agencies and private organizations to meet our shared goal: safe pharmaceutical care for those who have celiac or are sensitive to gluten.

For information about gluten in medications, click here.

Visit the pharmacy section for complete information regarding NFCA’s work in the area of gluten in medications.


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