Category: Professional Posters
Purpose: The objective of this study was to evaluate the attitudes and beliefs of dispensing naloxone either with a prescription or via a physician-approved protocol policy that was implemented in Ohio. Following the increasing opioid-related overdoses in Ohio, pharmacists are recognized as important healthcare professionals capable of influencing overdose death prevention through naloxone distribution. In 2015, Ohio passed a policy (House Bill 4) that permits a pharmacist or pharmacy intern (under the supervision of a pharmacist) to distribute intramuscular, injection and intranasal formulations of naloxone under a physician-approved protocol.
Methods: An electronic survey was sent to a random sample of pharmacies and community naloxone distribution sites (Project DAWN) in Ohio. The Contextual Interaction Theory (CIT) was used as framework to develop the survey. The CIT uses motivation, information, and power of the policy implementer and target to evaluate an implementation process. Descriptive statistics were calculated to summarize survey responses.
Results: The overall survey response rate was 31.3%. Seventy percent of survey respondents stated they were able to dispense naloxone via a physician-approved protocol, leaving 30% of respondents dispensing naloxone with a prescription. Most respondents (84%) agreed/strongly agreed that the policy has allowed individuals who want/need naloxone to have access through their workplace. Around 44% of sites indicated that they always/sometimes proactively identify candidates to receive naloxone via protocol. Most respondents felt very comfortable/comfortable dispensing naloxone to an individual who works with people at risk of an opioid overdose (90.7%) or felt very comfortable/comfortable dispensing naloxone to a family member or friend of a person at risk of an opioid overdose (88.3%). However, around 38% of respondents felt that an opioid overdose reversal with naloxone encourages future misuse of opioids.
Conclusion: This study identified the attitudes and beliefs of pharmacists and health personnel dispensing naloxone either with a prescription or via a physician-approved protocol established by policy (House Bill 4) in Ohio. Generally, participants showed a supportive and positive attitude toward the policy, but some respondents felt that overdose reversal with naloxone encouraged future misuse of opioids.