Our nation continues to grapple with the impact of the opioid epidemic. As a member of the interprofessional healthcare team, pharmacists use pain management plans to ensure that patients’ pain is appropriately managed, work with other providers to select the best possible therapies, monitor those therapies, educate the patient and other members of the team, and help identify the signs of addiction.
Despite their clinical expertise, many states have not utilized pharmacists in the fight against opioid use disorder (OUD). Congress recently eliminated the X-waiver, a federal barrier to pharmacists prescribing medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD). States should take action to use pharmacists in their communities to improve access to MOUDs.
How ASHP is Working to Protect Patients
Urge policymakers to fully utilize pharmacists in the fight against OUD by:
- Encouraging states to adopt ASHP's model legislation empowering pharmacists on the care team to initiate therapy with MOUDs
- Urging state boards of pharmacy to adopt ASHP's model protocol to allow physicians to partner with pharmacists on the care team to manage opioid use and support patient treatment for OUD
- Recommending that the federal government utilize emergency authority to respond to the opioid epidemic by authorizing pharmacists in all states to expand access to MOUDs