Opioid prescribing and dispensing: Experiences and perspectives from a survey of community pharmacists practising in the province of Quebec

Background: Canada leads in opioid prescription and consumption rates, and this has resulted in high levels of opioid-related morbidity and mortality. Pharmacists' input could contribute significantly to understanding the disadvantages of opioid prescribing and dispensing and improving the service. This study aimed to examine the experiences of community pharmacists in relation to opioid prescribing and dispensing, with a focus on optimizing collaboration and communication. Methods: An online survey was performed among pharmacists from the province of Quebec, Canada, in 2016. Pharmacists were eligible if registered and working in community pharmacies. Results: In all, 542 questionnaires were analyzed (participation rate of 8.1%). Pharmacotherapy-related problems were reported in at least 50% of opioid prescriptions: additional drug(s) required (reported by 30% of pharmacists), interaction(s) between opioid(s) and other drug(s) (16%), physician did not meet the general issuing standards for opioid prescriptions (26%) and patient had mild to moderate pain that was easily managed by a nonopioid analgesic (20%). Half of the patients were reported as requesting anticipated refills, possibly indicating abuse or poor pain control. Most pharmacists (89.6%) reported needing to contact physicians in 1 to 3 out of 10 opioid prescriptions, but many pharmacists (71.8%, often or very often) reported difficulties communicating with physicians. Conclusions: Pharmacists' observations of pharmacotherapy-related problems and patients' unusual behaviours reveal a significant number of issues related to opioid prescribing and dispensing in an outpatient setting. Improved collaboration between physicians and pharmacists appears mandatory to address the issues reported in this study.
Auteurs (Zotero)
Dubé, Pierre-André; Vachon, Julien; Sirois, Caroline; Roy, Élise
Date de publication (Zotero)
décembre, 2018