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System intervention in community pharmacy setting: Leading to better patient care through reducing harm associated with coprescribing benzodiazepines and opioids

Angelina Vascimini, PharmD, Kevin Duane, PharmD, Stacey Curtis, PharmD


Objective: The opioid epidemic is frequently discussed including the staggering numbers involved with coprescribing opioids and benzodiazepines associated with death. Community pharmacists, with the help of a system intervention, have a unique opportunity to help reduce the coprescribing of benzodiazepines and opioids and reduce the associated risk of death.

Design: A single center retrospective chart review was conducted after a system intervention was placed, as a quality improvement project, from November 2019 to May 2020.

Setting: Independent community pharmacy.

Patients/participants: Data included demographics, dosing of each medication pre- and post-intervention, and naloxone status.

Main outcome(s) measures: The primary outcome evaluated was reduction in dose/discontinuation of these prescriptions. The secondary outcome evaluated was the number of naloxone prescriptions ordered per protocol and picked up.

Results: The primary outcome did not show statistical difference; however, the secondary outcomes showed statistical significance.

Conclusion: In conclusion, community pharmacists, with the help of evolving technologies, can reduce harm associated with the coprescribing of benzodiazepines and opioids.


benzodiazepine, opioid, community pharmacy, reduce harm

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