Impact of community pharmacist intervention on concurrent benzodiazepine and opioid prescribing patterns
Luchen, Georgia G.
Prohaska, Emily S.
Ruisinger, Janelle F.
Melton, Brittany L.
Scholarly/refereed, publisher version
© 2019 American Pharmacists Association®. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved
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Objectives (1) To evaluate the number of opioid/benzodiazepine (BZD) prescription changes resulting from pharmacist communication to prescriber(s); (2) to determine the number of patients on concurrent opioid/BZD therapy from single versus multiple prescribers; (3) to compare the number of opioid/BZD prescription changes resulting from communication when a single versus multiple prescribers was involved in a patient’s care; and (4) to compare the number of opioid/BZD prescription changes resulting from communication via fax versus the Kansas Health Information Network (KHIN) direct messaging feature. Methods Prospective study conducted at 13 community pharmacies, including patients 18 years of age or older simultaneously filling opioid and BZD prescriptions within 90 days before October 2017. Prescribers received faxed or KHIN communication proposing evidence-based prescription changes to opioid/BZD agents. Prescription changes were evaluated weekly for 3 months after the initial intervention. Descriptive statistics assessed demographics and the number and types of prescription changes. Spearman rho correlations compared prescription changes and number of prescriptions to number of prescribers; a priori alpha was set at 0.05. Results A total of 137 prescribers and 121 patients were included. Ninety-nine prescribers were contacted via fax and 38 via KHIN. After 4 weeks, 34 recommendations were received: 20 responses (59%) indicated rejection of recommendations, 5 (15%) approved BZD taper/discontinuation, 3 (9%) deferred changes until a patient visit, 2 (6%) approved opioid taper/discontinuation, 2 (6%) prescribed naloxone, and 2 (6%) withdrew from the patient’s care. Three months after communication, 35 prescription changes were noted: 22 (63%) opioid/BZD agent tapers/discontinuation, 14 (26%) opioid/BZD dose increases, and 2 (6%) naloxone prescriptions. There was positive correlation between the number of tapered/discontinued agents and the number of prescribers involved in a patient’s care (P = 0.046). Conclusion A faxed pharmacist intervention may help to reduce opioid/BZD coprescribing, especially when multiple providers are involved in a patient’s care.
- Pharmacy Scholarly Works 
Georgia G. Luchen, Emily S. Prohaska, Janelle F. Ruisinger, Brittany L. Melton, "Impact of community pharmacist intervention on concurrent benzodiazepine and opioid prescribing patterns", Journal of the American Pharmacists Association, 2019, v. 59, no. 2, p. 238-242, DOI: 10.1016/j.japh.2018.10.010
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