Access to the opioid antidote naloxone is a critical component of addressing the opioid epidemic. Naloxone is a population-level prevention intervention associated with substantial reductions in overdose mortality. Furthermore, emerging data suggest that co-prescription of naloxone to people at risk of overdose from chronic opioid therapies may reduce negative health outcomes earlier in the risk horizon by avoiding nonfatal overdose. Expanding access to naloxone in the community through the pharmacy can be a critical mechanism for extending this lifesaving medication?s reach. Pharmacies exist in nearly every community and are staffed by knowledgeable health professionals trained in counseling patients about medication safety; many states also permit pharmacies to sell syringes over the counter for drug injection. Pharmacies? pivotal role in dispensing medications and selling syringes places them at the crossroads of opioid access and risk mitigation methods like naloxone provision. Testing ways to optimize pharmacy based naloxone (PBN) provision will be key as the country expands the implementation of naloxone through the medical system. We propose a large, practical study of a pharmacy- focused intervention to increase PBN dispensing and improve opioid safety. The intervention is comprised of two successful demonstration research projects (RESPOND, PI: Hartung; MOON Study, PI: Green, both R18), which include online and one-on-one educational outreach (i.e. academic detailing) demonstrated to provide knowledge and training for pharmacists to identify and effectively engage with patients who may be at high-risk for an opioid overdose. The overarching goal of this study is to reduce the number of opioid overdose deaths in the United States through greater access and use of naloxone, and safer opioid use. Uniquely, the study will draw from partnerships with two large retail pharmacy chains, CVS Pharmacy and Fred Meyer (a division of Kroger Corporation), who will provide a ?real-world? sample to support replicability and external validity.
Specific aims are to:
Aim 1 : Integrate the MOON and RESPOND toolkit materials into one cohesive educational program (MOON+), and streamline the materials to enhance the focus on naloxone policy, communication, and administration;
Aim 2 : Using a stepped wedge, clustered randomized trial design, evaluate the effectiveness of MOON+ in 160 community pharmacies in increasing: a) PBN distribution rates, naloxone-related patient engagement, and pharmacists? attitudes, knowledge, perceived behavioral control and self-efficacy toward naloxone; and b) pharmacy syringe sales, and pharmacists? attitudes, knowledge, perceived behavioral control and self-efficacy toward dispensing buprenorphine for opioid use disorder (secondary outcomes).
Aim 3 : Applying a mixed methods approach, identify facilitators and barriers (e.g. state and store policies, regional characteristics) to implementation and effectiveness. Study findings will create a generalizable, evidence-based training and toolkit for pharmacists caring for patients who use prescribed or illicit opioids, in the over 40 states adopting or expanding pharmacy naloxone.

Public Health Relevance

Nonmedical use and unintentional poisoning (?overdose?) involving prescription opioids and other illicit opioids are serious and growing public health problems. The proposed multi-site study will test the efficacy of an intervention to train and equip pharmacists to provide naloxone, an overdose antidote, to patient using prescribed and illicit opioids, to improve opioid safety and prevent opioid-involved adverse events.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
3R01DA045745-02S1
Application #
9821308
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZDA1)
Program Officer
Crump, Aria
Project Start
2018-06-15
Project End
2022-03-31
Budget Start
2019-04-01
Budget End
2020-03-31
Support Year
2
Fiscal Year
2019
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
Boston Medical Center
Department
Type
DUNS #
005492160
City
Boston
State
MA
Country
United States
Zip Code
02118