Exploratory Research in Clinical and Social Pharmacy (07/22) Vol. 6 Davis, Scott A.; Dryer, Robin; Zule, William; et al.
A review of continuing education (CE) credit-bearing buprenorphine training programs for pharmacists spanned five CE databases. The programs all addressed use of buprenorphine for opioid use disorder treatment and were accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). The authors identified seven websites that hosted 31 ACPE-approved training programs, of which 12 fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Most trainings involved a pre-test, didactic lecture with example cases, followed by a post-test. Ten trainings covered background and statistical information, while nine covered buprenorphine's clinical role in medication assisted therapy. Of the seven programs detailing prescribing barriers, only two briefly touched on dispensing barriers. None addressed the assumption that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration caps the amount of buprenorphine that can be ordered and stocked. Nine of the programs focused on the clinical aspects of treatment, but just five addressed social obstacles like stigma. "Dispelling misconceptions about the legal and regulatory environment, and building pharmacists' self-efficacy to communicate optimally with patients with [opioid use disorder], could substantially improve access and quality of care throughout the country," the authors write. "Future research should explore whether credit-bearing training about specific pharmacy-related barriers to buprenorphine dispensing, and ways to overcome such barriers, will be of interest to community pharmacists."