Purdue Pharma Enhances Opioid Education for Pharmacists

The transdermal buprenorphine manufacturer has launched an awareness campaign to address specific knowledge gaps among pharmacists that pertain to opioids.

A recent online poll uncovered that vast majority of pharmacists wish they had better resource materials to help them counsel patients on opioid medications. Now, Purdue Pharma L.P. is stepping in to meet this need.

On October 15, 2014, the pharmaceutical company launched an awareness campaign to address specific knowledge gaps among pharmacists that pertain to opioids. Particularly, Purdue Pharma aims to provide pharmacists with information pertaining to dose initiation, dose titration, and application of its extended-release transdermal buprenorphine (Butrans).

A Harris Poll conducted in February 2014 on behalf of Purdue Pharma showed that 95% of the 503 pharmacists surveyed indicated that counseling patients on prescription opioids was an important part of their job, but 72% yearned for better educational resources. The online survey also revealed that nearly all of the pharmacists polled were familiar with Butrans, but 46% of them lacked knowledge regarding the proper starting dose for patients.

“As pharmacists, we take to heart our responsibility in helping to manage our patients and counsel them on safely using any prescription medications,” said Michele Matthews, PharmD, CPE, BCACP, associate professor of pharmacy practice at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and a member of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), in a press release. “These materials should help reinforce pharmacists’ confidence in their knowledge of Butrans, allowing them to provide their patients proper guidance.”

Purdue Pharma is currently working with the APhA to distribute the resource materials, which are expected to reach more than 20,000 pharmacists.

“Pharmacists are often the last health care professional with whom a patient interacts with before using a medication, so they have the potential to make an impact on patients’ quality of care, if given the necessary information on prescription medications and treatments,” said Lisa Miller, executive director of healthcare education and liaison programs at Purdue, in the press release. “Purdue strongly believes it is imperative that we provide pharmacists with essential information about opioid therapies to improve their understanding and encourage appropriate use for their patients.”