Pharmacists Are Caught in the Middle of the Opioid Epidemic
Jeffrey Fudin, PharmD, DAIPM, FASHP, FFSMB, discusses the role pharmacists play in the opioid crisis and pain management. This video was filmed at the 2019 ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting & Exhibition in Las Vegas.
Jeffrey Fudin, PharmD, DAIPM, FASHP, FFSMB: Fewer physicians are prescribing opioids today, then say 3-4 years ago, and if you look at the data, you can see about an 80% reduction in the Morphine Milligram Equivalents in a number of prescriptions written in a day’s supply for these prescriptions so they’ve all come down. Physicians have reacted considerably across the country. I don’t think there’s any state where there’s been an increase in that. And so, the question is, how does this affect pharmacies? It really is a quagmire, because what’s happening is that patients sometimes are being abruptly stopped or their tapers are too rapid, and the providers—and rightfully so—are squeamish about writing these prescriptions even if they think it’s the right thing to do. One of the reasons is that they’re fearful of regulatory agencies, and doing a lot of expert work myself, I can see why some of them are fighting. I mean, and so, pharmacists are kind of stuck in the middle.
For more coverage of the 2019 ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting & Exhibition, visit PharmacyTimes.com conference pages.