Allowing Pharmacists to Prescribe Buprenorphine Can Boost Rates of Continued Care

    Allowing specially trained pharmacists to prescribe medication to treat opioid use disorder (OUD) can greatly increase rates of continued care, a new study finds.

    Researchers studied the effect of a Rhode Island law that permits specially trained pharmacists to prescribe the OUD medication buprenorphine. The study included 100 patients who received buprenorphine at a pharmacy. After they were stabilized, 58 received further care either through the pharmacy or in a clinic or doctor’s office. After one month, 89% of patients who received the medication at a pharmacy were still receiving care, compared with 17% of those who had switched to a doctor or clinic, HealthDay reports.

    “To have so many people in the pharmacy group continue on with their care was completely unexpected,” principal researcher Traci Green said in a news release. “The results from this pilot study show how pharmacies can be an effective and viable pathway to treatment for opioid use disorder.”


    January 2023