Substance use disorder (SUD) treatment could benefit from pharmacists’ accessibility and expertise, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) recently wrote in detailed letter to 15 Medicaid program directors.
NACDS also called for action on policy recommendations designed to help prevent opioid abuse to help prevent opioid abuse and addiction, while caring for those in pain.
NACDS made its case to 14 states and Washington, DC, that have received planning grants from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to increase provider capacity and improve access to treatment for individuals suffering with SUD.
West Virginia is among the states selected. Others include Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington.
“Allowing community pharmacists to be more involved in direct patient care serves to increase provider capacity while also eliminating gaps and barriers in treatment and increasing access to naloxone and other medication assisted treatment drugs. Pharmacists also offer a critical role in implementing strategies to help reduce population SUD risk,” said NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson.
“For example, pharmacists can contribute to helping states reduce SUD population prevalence by using Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment, which has been developed, tested and implemented in numerous health care settings to help identify persons who are misusing alcohol and other drugs,” he said.