AMERSA People & Passion, Episode 3: Barriers to treatment for opioid use disorder: Why aren’t pharmacists stocking buprenorphine?

Patients with opioid use disorder must be able to obtain prescribed buprenorphine from a pharmacy promptly to reduce risk for a recurrence of use and subsequent morbidity and mortality. However, phone-based secret shopper surveys indicate many pharmacies do not consistently maintain an adequate stock of buprenorphine and qualitative surveys show some pharmacists refuse to dispense it altogether. The underlying reasons for this problem are complex and will require innovative collaborations between pharmacists, buprenorphine prescribers, policymakers, and other healthcare team members.




Photo of Jeffrey Bratberg
Jeffrey P. Bratberg, PharmD, Clinical Professor at the University of Rhode Island, studies community pharmacists' roles play regarding opioid safety, opioid overdose, harm reduction and opioid use disorders. He is a consultant or co-investigator on two federal grants, a randomized controlled trial of pharmacists’ use of a CPA to manage medications for opioid use disorder and a multi-state, randomized control trial testing the effectiveness of a pharmacist and pharmacy focused intervention to improve naloxone provision, nonprescription syringe access and buprenorphine dispensing in community pharmacies.


Lucas G. Hill, PharmD, BCPS, BCACP
 serves as PhARM Director, The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Hill graduated from the UMKC School of Pharmacy and completed a combined residency/fellowship in the UPMC Department of Family Medicine. He is now a clinical assistant professor at The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy where he founded the PhARM Program and led implementation of Operation Naloxone. Dr. Hill is the principal investigator for a five-year, $25 million TTOR grant which seeks to address the opioid crisis in Texas by educating health professionals and the public while conducting pragmatic research.


Photo of Lindsey LoeraLindsey J. Loera, PharmD is a PhARM Fellow at The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Loera graduated from The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy and is currently completing a two-year fellowship with the PhARM Program. In this role, she will develop an innovative clinical pharmacy practice at an outpatient medical home for SUD and conducts statewide research exploring the pharmacist’s role in addiction treatment. She previously served as President of the Student Pharmacist Recovery Network and co-founded the Addiction Medicine Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience.


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