Medical Doctor (MD)
Department of Emergency Medicine
Rachel Haroz, MD
Rachel Rafeq, PharmD
Background and objective: There is currently an opioid epidemic in the United States affecting millions of lives and costing millions of healthcare dollars. In response to this crisis, New Jersey signed the Overdose Prevention Act (OPA) into law in May 2013, allowing pharmacists in New Jersey to provide naloxone without a prescription through a standing order. This research assessed the need for education and the impact of education on OPA awareness among pharmacists and naloxone availability in Camden County.
Methods: A free continuing education event was held at Cooper hospital which provided Camden County retail pharmacists with information regarding naloxone and the OPA. Following this event, pharmacists were anonymously surveyed on their knowledge of the OPA and naloxone pharmacy availability. This process was repeated the following year.
Results: In July 2017, we surveyed 97 of 117 pharmacies in Camden Country. Of the 97 total included pharmacies, 63% pharmacists reported knowledge of the OPA and 62% reported carrying naloxone. In February 2018, after the second education event, we successfully surveyed 96 of 117 pharmacies in Camden County. At that time 82% of pharmacists reported knowledge of the OPA and 80% reported carrying naloxone. Comparing the chain and independent pharmacies, in July 2017, 70% of the chain pharmacies and 18% of the independent pharmacies reported knowledge of the OPA. At this point in time, 66% of the chain pharmacies and 41% of the independent pharmacies carried naloxone. In February 2018, 90% of the chain pharmacies and 53% of the independent pharmacies reported knowledge of the OPA. 86% of the chain pharmacies and 58% of the independent pharmacies carried naloxone.
Conclusions: There was an increase in pharmacist knowledge of the OPA in the time between July 2017 and February 2018. Pharmacists working at chain pharmacies were more likely to be aware of the law and carry naloxone than those working in independent pharmacies.
Kennedy, Samantha and Perez, Rachel, "Evaluation of Pharmacists' Knowledge in Role of Naloxone Dispensing" (2019). Cooper Medical School of Rowan University Capstone Projects. 30.