College Faculty Lead Local Pharmacists in Naloxone Training Session
Published on 10 April 2018
On March 11, local community pharmacists gathered on the St. Louis College of Pharmacy campus to learn about the benefits of using naloxone for opioid overdose prevention. The special training session was presented as the Missouri Pharmacy Association’s Regional Meeting in St. Louis.
The session was led by College faculty members Amy Tiemeier, Pharm.D., BCPS, director of community partnerships, associate director of experiential education and associate professor of pharmacy practice and Nicole Gattas, Pharm.D., BCPS, FAPhA, associate professor of pharmacy practice and assistant director of community and ambulatory care, experiential education.
Highly effective at reversing an overdose of heroin, fentanyl and other prescription opioids, naloxone has been used by EMS and emergency department clinicians for over 40 years to save patient lives but had previously required a prescription for individuals to access it for personal use.
With a statewide standing order now in place allowing all Missouri pharmacies to dispense naloxone to any patient without an outside prescription, the presentation educated pharmacists on how the standing order works and provided strategies to help pharmacists identify at-risk patients and inform them on the proper use of the life-saving drug.
“We want to bring education to pharmacists about the new standing order to help them feel more comfortable talking with patients about naloxone,” Tiemeier said, “It is important to not only educate pharmacists on the drug, but to help them realize they have a role to play in fighting the opioid crisis as well.”
Tiemeier and Gattas, along with Kelly Gable, Pharm.D., BCPP, associate professor in the department of pharmacy practice and coordinator of global partnerships at SIUE School of Pharmacy, have been hosting naloxone training sessions across the state of Missouri in recent months as part of the Missouri Opioid State Targeted Response Grant (Opioid STR). With 908 opioid overdose deaths occurring in Missouri alone in 2016, Opioid STR is working to address the opioid epidemic through prevention, treatment and recovery support efforts.
When asked about the one thing she hopes participants take away from the trainings, Tiemeier responded, “We know people are dying because of opioid use. Having naloxone on hand is important because it can be the difference between life and death for a patient.”