Naloxone dispensing acceptable among pharmacists, says study
A recent survey reports acceptable dispensing of naloxone among pharmacists that serviced San Francisco safety net clinics.
Insufficient naloxone education is the most cited problem, which may be resolved by improving instructional materials, giving incentives for patient education, or mandatory training, according to the investigators.
Of the 58 respondents, most were staff (56.9 percent) or supervising pharmacists (34.5 percent). Majority of the pharmacists (92.9 percent) were aware that their pharmacy stocked naloxone, and most of them (86.6 percent) thought that it should be prescribed to some or all patients on long-term opioids.
Of the pharmacists, 82.1 percent dispensed naloxone at least once in the past 12 months. Less than half (43.4 percent) said they would want authority to furnish without a prescription, while more than half (55.2 percent) reported no problems dispensing naloxone.
Insufficient knowledge on naloxone was the most common problem mentioned, while more than half of the respondents said they were comfortable providing naloxone education. Additionally, only 12 percent reported more than one problem in dispensing naloxone, which correlated with being uncomfortable with educating patients (p=0.03).
The investigators assessed the intervention of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, which initiated naloxone prescribing at six safety net clinics. Fifty-eight pharmacists completed the survey from November 2013 through January 2015, which contained data on demographics, experiences in dispensing naloxone, and interest in prescriptive authority. Descriptive analyses were carried out, and bivariate relationships were examined.