The US has seen a sharp increase in total death due to the opioid overdose in recent years, with 70,200 overdoses alone in 2017. Nationwide, some states have been disproportionately affected by opioid addiction that resulted in a different rate of death. Pharmacy technicians along with pharmacists are the front line in receiving prescriptions and dispensing medication assisted therapy (MAT). Previous studies have detailed the expanding role of pharmacist involvement in substance abuse treatment and recovery. Despite often being the first point of interaction in community pharmacy, little is known about pharmacy technicians’ views and roles in reducing stigma when patients receive medication assisted therapy (MAT).
The overall goal of this research study will be to determine pharmacy technicians’ views, roles, facilitators, and barriers to providing care to patients with opioid use disorder (OUD). This will be the first pilot study conducted in the US on this topic. Results of this research will directly impact future education efforts and assist in achieving NHA’s mission and vision: to develop, advance and advocate for the frontline pharmacy technician, resulting in improved patient care.