Community pharmacy home distribution of naloxone during COVID-19 investigation: the impact of one public health crisis on another

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Pharmacy (Basel). July 23, 2021; 9 (3): 129. doi: 10.3390 / pharmacy9030129.

ABSTRACT

A recent report found that the number of opioid-related deaths in Ontario in the first 15 weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic was 38.2% higher than in the 15 weeks before the pandemic. Our study aimed to determine whether pharmacy professionals themselves reported an increase or decrease in the supply of naloxone due to the pandemic and to identify the adjustments made by pharmacy professionals to dispense naloxone during the pandemic. . A total of 231 Ontario community pharmacy professionals responded to an online survey. The barriers, enablers and comfort level of pharmacy professionals with the distribution of naloxone before and during the pandemic have been identified. The sample was mainly composed of pharmacists (99.1%). More than half (51.1%) reported no change in the delivery of naloxone, while 22.9% of respondents reported an increase and 24.7% a decrease. The most common adjustments made during the pandemic were training patients to administer naloxone by video or phone, providing naloxone kits, and pharmacy technicians offering naloxone when prescribed. . More than half (55%) of participants said the main barrier to dispensing was that patients did not request naloxone. The distribution of naloxone in pharmacies could be further optimized to cope with the increasing incidence of overdose deaths during the pandemic. Future research should investigate the reasons for the changes in the delivery of naloxone.

IDPM: 34449716 | DOI: 10.3390 / pharmacy9030129

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