APhA to Attend White House Event on Nation’s Opioid Epidemic

APhA Advocates for Pharmacists’ Services as Key Component in Fight Against Addiction

The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) has been invited to the White House on Wednesday to participate in an event to commemorate the many efforts to curb the national opioid crisis. The invitation serves as recognition that pharmacists are a necessary resource to consumers and a vital member of the health care team working to curb the prescription drug and opioid abuse epidemic.

During the White House event, titled “A Year of Historic Action to Combat the Opioid Crisis,” President Trump will sign legislation recently passed by Congress to add more resources for Americans suffering from addiction, including expanding access to medication-assisted treatments like methadone.

“Pharmacists are and always have been frontline in the opioid crisis and will continue to be a part of the many solutions to the problem,” said APhA CEO Tom Menighan, BSPharm, MBA, ScD (Hon), FAPhA. “Pharmacists work actively with patients and communities on a daily basis, and APhA’s priority is to make sure that policy makers and fellow health care providers know what pharmacists can do to make meaningful progress in the fight against opioids.”

The timing of this historic event aligns with American Pharmacists Month (APhM) theme and central message that pharmacists are “Easy to Reach and Ready to Help.”

APhA has long advocated for the important role of the pharmacist in providing health care services and the impact they can have on patients and their outcomes.  Pharmacists’ medication expertise is often underutilized in pain management and substance use disorders. Pharmacists screen and assess patients’ risk for misuse and abuse, provide interventions and care coordination, and furnish Naloxone where authorized. However, barriers exist preventing patients from benefiting from pharmacists’ care.

“If patients had better access to the services pharmacists can provide, the impact of their medications, including opioids, can be better optimized, and risks of abuse or misuse minimized,” Menighan said.