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Gluten in Medications: Collaborations & Actions

NFCA is increasing awareness of celiac disease within the pharmaceutical industry, and addressing the problem of gluten in medication on several fronts. We are working with the lead government agency, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and private organizations and corporations to meet our shared goal: safe pharmaceutical care for those who have celiac or are gluten sensitive. 

Collaborations | Programs | Publications

 

Collaborations

American Pharmacists Association (APhA)

The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) has invited NFCA to speak about celiac disease and educate pharmacists about gluten in medications.

Actions:

 

Digestive Disease National Coalition (DDNC)

NFCA is a member of the Digestive Disease National Coalition (DDNC), an advocacy organization focused on improving public policy related to digestive diseases and increasing public awareness of diseases that affect the digestive system. The DDNC works cooperatively to improve access to and the quality of digestive disease health care in order to promote the best possible medical outcome and quality of life for current and future patients with digestive diseases.

Actions:

  • March 7-8, 2010: NFCA participated in the DDNC Public Policy Forum in Washington DC. The event was filled with education and collaboration, and NFCA advocated for members of congress to increase funding to the FDA to address the problem of gluten in medication.
  • March 6-7, 2011: NFCA returned for another round at the DDNC Public Policy Forum. NFCA spoke with senators and physicians about celiac disease and gluten-free needs. The forum proved that great progress had been made over the year, as senators and office staff much more aware of celiac disease.
    Read NFCA Founder & President Alice Bast's blog about the event.
 

Food and Drug Administration

NFCA has established relationships within the FDA that allow for ongoing communication and advocacy to further our objective: Proper labeling of gluten in medications.

NFCA is also a member of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA.  As part of this team, we share the goals of maintaining public confidence and trust in the FDA, as well as assurance that the FDA has sufficient resources to protect patients and consumers.

Actions:

  • September 24-25, 2009: NFCA participated in the FDA Public Workshop about Prescription Drug Risks and Benefits. Read about the workshop here.
  • November 11, 2009: In response to the FDA’s request for public input about prescription drug risks and benefits, NFCA provided comment, advocating for the labeling of gluten in medications. 
    Click to download NFCA's submission.
  • November 16-17, 2010: NFCA presented a statement about gluten in medications at the Safe Use Initiative Public Workshop. The statement appealed to the FDA for better medication labeling, specifically with regard to labeling the source of inactive ingredients, which could contain gluten. Download a copy of NFCA's statement.
  • November 2011: NFCA announced that the organization would conduct a landmark study on gluten in medications, funded by a $50,000 grant from the FDA. Read the press release.
  • January 4, 2012: NFCA launched the Gluten in Medications Survey, part one of the landmark gluten in medications study. Learn more about the survey.
 

National Council of Patient Information and Education (NCPIE)

NFCA is a member of the National Council of Patient Information and Education (NCPIE), an advocacy organization, whose mission is to stimulate and improve communication of information on appropriate medicine use to consumers and healthcare professionals.

 

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)

NFCA worked with the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) to develop resources for patients and pharmacists related to gluten in medications.

Actions:

  • ASHP collaborated on the development of NFCA's Gluten in Medications Guide. This downloadable resource is available to help individuals with celiac disease communicate with their pharmacists about their gluten-free prescriptions and other medication needs.
  • April 11, 2008: NFCA and ASHP partnered to develop Webinars and Continuing Education programming for pharmacists, and hosted a Gluten in Medications Educational Session event in April 2008.
 

Programs

NFCA Launches GREAT Pharmacists

In April 2011, NFCA launched a free online continuing education (CE) program called GREAT Pharmacists. This valuable course teaches pharmacists the symptoms of celiac disease and potential hidden sources of gluten in medications. This program is co-sponsored by ProCE, Inc., which is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.

 

Perrigo Launches Gluten-Free Assurance Program

Perrigo Company a maker of OTC generic medications, began to identify their drugs with less than 20 parts per million (ppm) in January, 2010. NFCA commends Perrigo’s move and recognizes it as a leader in the industry. Read more about this program.

 

Publications

Hospital Pharmacy

The journal Hospital Pharmacy published an article, “Gluten Content of the Top 200 Medications of 2008: A Follow-up to the Impact of Celiac Sprue on Patents’ Medication Choices” in November, 2009. Unfortunately the list of medications’ gluten-free status had errors, thus illustrating the problem of gluten in medications: Without formal guidelines from the FDA, human error will occur and consumers’ health and safety lies in the balance. NFCA responded with a Letter to the Editor that was published in the journal in January, 2010.

 

Contact Us:
For more information please contact Loretta Jay, Director of Program Development:
E-mail: lorettajay@CeliacCentral.org
Phone: 215.325.1306 x104

 
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