CONSIDER New Mexico: Effects of naloxone training among pharmacists and pharmacy technicians

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Background: Pharmacists serve a critical role in providing health care, especially in medically underserved areas. Despite the opioid crisis and legislation in most states allowing pharmacists to dispense naloxone without a prescription from another provider, pharmacists face multiple barriers to dispensing naloxone. Objective: This study tested the effectiveness of CONSIDER New Mexico, an innovative educational initiative designed to increase naloxone dispensing by pharmacies. Methods: A quasi-experimental study was conducted in New Mexico in 2019-2020. Community pharmacists and pharmacy technicians were recruited from a purposive sample of pharmacies. Data were collected through pre-and postintervention surveys with 65 pharmacists and 44 technicians from 49 pharmacies. Data analysis included hybrid fixed-effects regression models of variables associated with pre-post intervention change in intent to dispense naloxone and generalized least squares with maximum likelihood estimation for pre-post intervention change in naloxone dispensing. Results: Positive intervention effects were observed for measures of normative beliefs, self-efficacy, and intent to dispense naloxone (P < 0.05). Changes in normative beliefs and self-efficacy were associated with greater intent to offer naloxone to patients (P < 0.05). In addition,themediannumberofnaloxoneprescriptionsdispensedpermonthincreased3.5times after intervention. A statistically significant positive association was observed between the intervention and naloxone dispensing after adjusting for other factors (P < 0.001). Pharmacies providing more than 4 additional health services were more likely to increase naloxone dispensing postintervention than pharmacies offering not more than 2 services (P < 0.01). This difference averaged 19 naloxone prescriptions per month. Estimated change in dispensing postintervention was statistically significantly lower at independent, clinic-based, and other pharmacies where an average of 36 fewer naloxone prescriptions were dispensed per month compared with chain drug stores (P ¼ 0.03). Conclusion: The CONSIDER New Mexico intervention effectively increased self-efficacy, intent to dispense, and naloxone dispensing. Findings will inform future research examining widespread dissemination and implementation of the intervention and the sustainability of intervention effects.