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Pharmacist-physician collaboration in pain management practice

Jennifer M. Strickland, PharmD, BCPS, Angela Huskey, PharmD, David B. Brushwood, RPh, JD


Pain is one of the most common reasons patients seek out healthcare and management typically requires complex medication regimens. Pharmacists have become increasingly more involved in pain management. Historically, pharmacists and physicians have often had adversarial relationships because of regulatory influence. However, as medication experts, pharmacists can play a key role in optimizing outcomes in the management of pain and can be critical to the success of the medication regimen. Numerous opportunities for collaboration exist for pharmacists and physicians in various settings. One example is the VIGIL process, an effective risk management strategy that requires collaboration between pharmacists and physicians. The success of pharmacist-physician collaboration will depend on numerous factors, including strong physician and administrative support. A clear strategy and stepwise approach to developing a pain management pharmacist-physician collaborative practice is the key to its success. Once the collaboration is formalized, a management strategy should also be defined and should include regular chart review and regular feedback from the physician. Through physician-pharmacist collaboration, pain management outcomes can be optimized and risk can be managed.


pharmacist, pain management, collaborative practice

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