Prevent Overdose RI

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Pharmacy

How to get licensed

Continuing Education/Training

  • All immunizing pharmacists must complete one hour of training about immunizations each year to renew their license. Pharmacists, except for those who graduated in the past year, must complete at least fifteen hours (1.5 continuing education units) of continuing education courses sponsored by a recognized provider, annually. At least five hours of those hours must be in a classroom setting. Pharmacists must sign affidavits attesting to the completion of these requirements as part of the license renewal.
  • Certificates of continuing education courses must be retained and safeguarded by each pharmacist for review by the Department, if requested, for two years following the date of completion of the course.
  • In emergency or hardship cases, a licensed pharmacist may apply to the State Pharmacy Board for an exemption from these requirements.

Recommended Best Practices

Naloxone

Screen all patients and caregivers.

  • Check a patient’s electronic health record (EHR) and ask the patient about previous naloxone use.
  • Check Rhode Island’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) for clinical alerts and evidence of high-doseĀ  opioids (i.e., more than 50 oral Morphine Milligram Equivalents (MMEs) per day), long-acting opioid use, or opioid use for longer than 90 days.
  • Screen all patients for a history or diagnosis of Substance Use Disorder (SUD), Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), mental health conditions, respiratory or neurologic conditions that affect breathing, harmful use or misuse of opioids, and/or opioid overdose.
  • Screen patients for use of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) to treat OUD.
  • Screen all patients to identify use of opioids in combination with benzodiazepines, alcohol, anti-depressants, and/or sedatives.

Educate yourself, patients, and staff.

  • Ask caregivers if they feel comfortable administering naloxone during an overdose in case a friend or loved one is experiencing a bad reaction to an opioid.
  • Tell patients who are taking opioids about the potential for bad reactions that make breathing slow down or stop, leading to an overdose.
  • Emphasize to patients that naloxone is an antidote and can save a life, just like a seatbelt or fire extinguisher.
  • Tell patients and caregivers about what to expect after giving someone naloxone.
  • Include a conversation about the importance of having naloxone on-hand as a standard part of opioid safety messages.
  • Ensure all office staff know where to locate and how to use naloxone in case of an overdose.
  • Review the signs and symptoms of opioid overdose and the legal protections under Rhode Island’s Good Samaritan Law.
  • Sign and display these pledges on opioid safety.
  • Print, hang, and distribute educational materials about naloxone.

Promote increased access to naloxone.

  • Join the US Surgeon General and be a role model. Purchase and carry naloxone. Incorporate naloxone co-prescribing in EHRs, office protocols, and electronic prescribing systems.
  • Co-prescribe naloxone to patients who are currently being prescribed syringes and needles.
  • Stock naloxone in the office for emergency use and for direct dispensing to patients.
  • Remind patients and staff that pharmacists can dispense naloxone and bill insurance companies without a prescription from a healthcare provider.
  • If cost is a barrier for patients, help them enroll in a health insurance plan.

Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

Register with the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) . Check the PDMP each time you dispense/prescribe a controlled substance to help prevent fraudlent prescriptions from being filled. This will also help identify suspected pharmacy/doctor "shopping."

Contact us for PDMP support.

Reporting

  • Retail Pharmacies must report Schedule II, III, IV and V controlled substance prescriptions dispensed to patients, including veterinary patients, to the PDMP within one business day.
  • Institutional Pharmacies must report Schedule II, III, and IV controlled substance prescriptions dispensed to patients only on an outpatient basis.
  • Non-Resident Pharmacies must report Schedule II, III, and IV controlled substance prescriptions dispensed, mailed or otherwise sent to patients, including veterinary patients, to the PDMP.

State Board of Pharmacy