INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this study is to assess community pharmacists’ attitudes and experiences related to naloxone dispensation and counseling in non-urban areas in New York State to better understand individual and structural factors that influence pharmacy provision of naloxone.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study conducted interviewer-administered semistructured surveys among community pharmacists in retail, independent, and supermarket pharmacies between October 2019 and December 2019. The 29-item survey ascertained pharmacists’ demographic and practice characteristics; experiences and beliefs related to naloxone dispensation; and attitudes toward expansion of pharmacy services to include on-site public health services for persons who use opioids. The study used Chi square tests to determine associations between each characteristic and self-reported naloxone dispensation (any vs. none).
RESULTS: A total of 60 of the 80 community pharmacists that the study team had approached agreed to participate. A majority were supportive of expanding pharmacy-based access to vaccinations (93.3%), on-site HIV testing, or referrals (75% and 96.7%, respectively), providing information on safe syringe use (93.3%) and disposal (98.3%), and referrals to medical/social services (88.3%), specifically substance use treatment (90%). A majority of pharmacist respondents denied negative impacts on business with over half reporting active naloxone dispensation (58.3%). Pharmacists dispensing naloxone were more likely to be multilingual (p < 0.03), and to specifically support on-site HIV testing (p < 0.02) than those who were not dispensing naloxone.
DISCUSSION: Community pharmacists were highly favorable of naloxone dispensation in rural and small metro area pharmacies in NY, and those fluent in additional language(s) and supportive of on-site HIV testing were associated with active naloxone dispensation. While active naloxone dispensation was low, pharmacists appear supportive of a “frontline public health provider” model, which could facilitate naloxone uptake and warrants large-scale investigation.
CONCLUSION: Rural and small metro area pharmacists are generally favorable of naloxone dispensation.
Rural and small metro area naloxone-dispensing pharmacists’ attitudes, experiences, and support for a frontline public health pharmacy role to increase naloxone uptake in New York State, 2019
Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 129, 108372. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2021.108372. PMCID: PMC8380631.