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Op-ed: Community pharmacists are foot soldiers in the war on opioid abuse

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B. Douglas Hoey, CEO of the National Community Pharmacists Association, notes the opioid abuse crisis is front and center in national headlines, with an increasing number of lives being lost to overdoses, while prescription drug abuse devastates families and communities.

B. Douglas Hoey, CEO of the National Community Pharmacists Association, notes the opioid abuse crisis is front and center in national headlines, with an increasing number of lives being lost to overdoses, while prescription drug abuse devastates families and communities. "Like other health care professionals, community pharmacists are on the front line of the prescription drug abuse war," says Hoey. "While prescription drug monitoring programs are an important tool in pharmacists’ ability to detect potential abuse, many are taking additional hands-on approaches to confront the problem ... they're customizing solutions to meet immediate local needs for training, referral, support, and counseling, as well as for improved access to anti-overdose drugs." Hoey points out that community pharmacists "are often the first—and last—line of defense in preventing prescription drug abuse." He says striking the right balance between preventing drug abuse and preserving access to pain management medications for patients with legitimate needs must include enhanced prescription drug monitoring programs and increased prescriber education. "As policymakers pursue various ideas to curb and treat prescription opioid abuse, they should look to the innovative methods that problem-solving community pharmacists are already successfully implementing in their communities," concludes Hoey.

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http://www.drugstorenews.com/article/op-ed-community-pharmacists-are-foot-soldiers-war-opioid-abuse

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