Are pharmacists on the front lines of the opioid epidemic? A cross-sectional study of the practices and competencies of community and hospital pharmacists in Punjab, Pakistan

Naeem Mubarak, Taheer Zahid, Fatima Rahman Rana, Umm-E-Barirah Ijaz, Afshan Shabbir, Mahrukh Manzoor, Nahan Khan, Minahil Arif, Muhammad Mehroz Naeem, Sabba Kanwal, Nasira Saif-ur-Rehman, Che Suraya Zin, Khalid Mahmood, Javaid Asgher, Mohamed Hassan Elnaem

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Abstract

Introduction: Countries are grappling with a rapidly worsening upsurge in the opioid-related overdose deaths, misuse and abuse. There is a dearth of data in Pakistan regarding the practices and competencies of pharmacists in handling opioid-related issues. Study design: A cross-sectional study, conducted across Punjab, Pakistan. Method: The study deployed a validated survey to evaluate the competencies and practices of the community and hospital pharmacists. Results: 504 community pharmacists and 279 hospital pharmacists participated in the survey with an overall response rate of 85.5%. Almost half of the respondents ‘never’ or ‘sometimes’ made clinical notes in a journal or dispensing software to monitor ongoing opioid use. Generally, pharmacists were reluctant to collaborate with physicians or notify police regarding the abuse/misuse of opioids. Hospital pharmacists achieved significantly higher mean competency scores than chain and independent community pharmacists (p
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere079507
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalBMJ Open
Volume13
Issue number11
Early online date21 Nov 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 21 Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2023. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

Keywords

  • primary care
  • hospitals
  • pain management
  • public health

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