Barriers and facilitators to dispensing of intranasal naloxone by pharmacists.

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BACKGROUND: Although misuse of prescription opioids has reached epidemic proportions, pharmacy-based preventive services to combat this epidemic are limited. The aims of this study were to identify barriers and facilitators to the dispensing of intranasal naloxone (INN) by pharmacists in New Mexico.

METHODS: For this mixed-methods study, a qualitative component (focus group) informed the development of a quantitative component (electronic survey) distributed to all pharmacists registered with the New Mexico Board of Pharmacy and practicing in the state. A 46-item survey included questions about pharmacists' concerns regarding dispensing INN, barriers and facilitators to dispensing INN, efforts needed to increase availability and utilization of pharmacist-dispensed INN, and characteristics of respondents and their pharmacies.

RESULTS: Pharmacists from all geographical regions and all types of pharmacy settings were represented in the sample (final N = 390, participation rate 23.5%, including a subset of 182 community pharmacists). The main barriers identified were (1) out-of-pocket costs for patients; (2) time constraints for pharmacists; and (3) inadequate reimbursement for pharmacists. The main facilitators were (1) increased awareness among opioid-using patients and family members about the need for INN; (2) additional education to the general public; and (3) additional training for pharmacists on how to initiate discussions about INN with high-risk patients. Some community pharmacists were concerned that INN dispensing would promote opioid abuse (16.5%) and attract undesirable clientele (14.3%). In a multivariable logistic regression analysis of a community pharmacy subset, a higher number of concerns about INN (odds ratio [OR] = 0.87; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.82-0.93) and a pharmacy setting in a chain grocery or a "big box" store (OR = 0.38; 95% CI: 0.16-0.92) were associated with decreased odds of dispensing INN.

CONCLUSIONS: Effective intervention strategies for increasing dispensing of intranasal naloxone by pharmacists should focus on pharmacists' concerns, include education to multiple audiences, and address provider-level, system-level, and society-level barriers.

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Substance abuse : official publication of the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse



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