Pharmacists are at the centre of the opioid crisis. We need to be part of the solution.

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  1. Adam Smith

    Pharmacists have professional obligations to patients to address all of the issues raised by the author (e.g. advising about harmful drug interactions). So why aren’t pharmacists doing those things? oh, yeah, it’s easier to make money by simply following the prescriber’s prescription and then forget about it.

  2. Suzanne

    We need more funding to support the integration of pharmacists in primary care teams. Period.
    As a pharmacist who has practiced in a hospital and community pharmacy, and now in a Family Health Team, I feel that I am fortunate to better utilize my knowledge and skills in a rewarding collaborative practice model. For example, I work closely with our team’s physicians and nurse practitioner in our clinic’s opioid stewardship program for chronic non-cancer pain.
    I am hopeful that support of the Patient Medical Home enables further primary care transformation, and organizations such as the Ontario Pharmacists Association and the Canadian Pharmacists Association strengthen advocacy efforts to better integrate pharmacists in collaborative practice models in primary care.

    • Allen

      There is a real need for pharmacists as there are many doctors that do not pay attention to what the possible interactions are or wrongly prescribe medications, and do often misdiagnose problems. There is the other problem with paperwork being more important than the lives of people, and testing that makes no sense other than for them to look like they are doing something that wastes money and does harm to those that need medical help.

  3. Natalie

    This is exactly why I am shifting career focus on Monday. Excellent article. You have identified many valid points, many valid opportunities for pharmacists to get involved in really making a difference for the future.

    • Allen

      Bit of advise on changing carriers, even though there is said to be a demand and a need for people in some carrier field does not mean that it is a good choice, as there are many jobs that used to pay well that now days one could earn far better and have less education requirements than many other fields. There are things that all of us enjoy from time to time and think that it is a good choice, such as I and many others have done and then completely unable to find work in that field and places that are hiring in that field pay far less than one earns working as a sales person at a fast food restaurant. The biggest complaint that I heard from people with a doctorate in the former Soviet Union is that they earn the same as a garbage collector, and here in the USA garbage collectors earn more than the majority of electrical engineers when looking at global wages.

  4. Allen

    The main result of this so called opiate crisis, is an increase in suffering. I have multiple disks in my back that are compressing on my spinal cord, and the pain is worse than anything else. I work around electric power, often 480 volts, and have accidentally bumped up against it, and that does not cause me too much pain compared to what I feel in my back, as it just feels like I have been bit by some small nasty animal. Yet far too many people do not see limiting access to pain medications for those that need it as something important, and as a result of this crackdown I have decided if I loose my wife, or my stuff time for me to leave. That is because life to me is suffering, that suffering gets worse every day little by little. It is at the point that I am unable to work even part time due to pain with pain medications (as no doctor will prescribe anything strong enough to be able to function again, and sinus pain that is only helped by antibiotics. I figure that if the desire was to show me that life is worth living and the same for the many millions that take their life every year because of pain. That we would not be forced to suffer so much. Sure opiates can be dangerous, and the stuff over the counter is even more dangerous to people with severe pain, as the levels required to get any level of relief exceed the levels that cause liver and kidney failure. That can only mean that those that are making it so difficult for people to get such medications want people to die, far as I can see it. I know the risks involved with opiates, they cause respiratory depression can in some cases cause addiction, and should be available to those of us that have pain, but there is no excuse to give them to people that are only dealing with depression, as there are far better things that are far more effective. I am already past the point where I feel that life is enjoyable and should be promoted, as I decided that I do not want any child of mine to be born into such a cruel world that promotes suffering and the only real way to stop the suffering is death because it is too difficult for most to get medical help that will stop the pain enough to make life enjoyable. I don’t know how to earn enough to live on working about an hour 2 or 3 days a week either.

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