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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Rhode Island Geriatric Education Center presents lecture on over-the-counter drugs

Media Contact: Jhodi Redlich, 401-874-4500

KINGSTON, R.I. -- February 17, 2004 -- Just because an "over-the-counter" drug may be selected at will by customers at department stores, groceries, and pharmacies, doesn't mean it's necessarily safe or effective. And as the store aisles are often full with seemingly different medications to treat the same condition, making a decision can be frustrating at best.

University of Rhode Island Pharmacy Professor Anne Hume of Portsmouth, R.I., will help to clarify some of the issues involved with the selection and use of over-the-counter medications at a "Lunch and Learn" talk on Wednesday, Feb. 18, from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. in the White Hall College of Nursing, Room 110, on the URI Kingston Campus.

Free and open to the public, the lecture is part of a series by the Rhode Island Geriatric Education Center at URI. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lunch, beverages and dessert will be provided.

Hume, who focuses her research and teaching efforts on geriatrics, said getting to know the ins and outs of over-the-counter products, OTC for short, is important for consumers today. "Purchasing a pain reliever used to mean a choice between just a few different brands, medication names and key ingredients," said Hume. "In the last five years, the number of products on the shelves has multiplied. While the drugs may be safe, patients using them for self-treatment need to have a basic understanding of the components, combinations and other factors."

Hume has received national research awards and is the author of over 120 publications including "Drugs and the Elderly" in the fourth and fifth editions of Clinical Aspects of Aging. She is the author of the Herbal Products chapter in the 13th and 14th editions of the APhA Handbook of Nonprescription Drug Products.

Hume has been a faculty member in the Rhode Island Geriatric Education Center funded by the U.S. Bureau of Health Professions since 1996. The RIGEC is a consortium of the University of Rhode Island Colleges of Nursing,

Pharmacy and Human Science and Services, Rhode Island College School of Social Work, Brown Medical School and Aging 2000. The center was established to improve knowledge and skills in geriatrics and gerontology among health care and human service providers to better serve the needs of a growing elderly population.

For more information about the Lunch and Learn lectures, contact Sandy Leubner at 401-874-5332.