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APhA, Walmart partnership brings opioid training to pharmacists, technicians


As part of ongoing efforts to help curb the opioid epidemic, the American Pharmacists Association is joining with Walmart to offer a free online training program on opioid stewardship to all pharmacists and pharmacy technicians around the country. 

The new resource for pharmacists is being launched at a time when parts of the country are experiencing increased opioid-related overdoses as access to social and treatment networks are disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The customized pharmacist program contains 6.5 hours of training and education, including a pain management curriculum. 

“All healthcare practitioners have a responsibility for identifying and preventing opioid misuse and abuse, and it will take the entire healthcare team working together to win the battle against the opioid epidemic,” said Dan Zlott, pharmacist and APhA senior vice president of education and business development. Pharmacists are on the front lines and may often be the first to recognize opioid-related issues. That’s why we believe it is so important to arm them with knowledge about addiction, recovery, and treatment options; as well as the latest information about pain management approaches and alternatives to opioids."

Topics cover the following areas:

  • Finding Grace: An Overview of Addiction and Recovery;
  • Bridging the Gap Between Pain Management and Drug Diversion;
  • Chronic Pain Management Best Practices and Clinical Pearls;
  • Opioid Alternatives: The Roles and Risks of NSAIDs in Pain Management;
  • Using Brief Interventions in a Busy Pharmacy Setting; and
  • Naloxone: Understanding its Role and Use in the Community. 

The online training program was originally developed in 2018 for Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacists. Through an unrestricted educational grant provided to the APhA by Walmart, the program is now available for free to all pharmacists in the country.  Pharmacy technicians will also have free access to program courses that provide practical information and tools for understanding addiction as well as guidelines and use of the overdose-reversing medication naloxone.  

“We have seen the devastation that opioid abuse can wreak first-hand in the communities we serve, which is why we originally developed this professional education program with APhA to help all 18,000 Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacists be part of the solution.  As the crisis in our country escalates, we wanted to help expand access to the program so every pharmacist at every pharmacy in the country – no matter how small or remote – can obtain critical knowledge and tools to help them serve and protect their patients from the dangers of opioid misuse and abuse,” said Thomas Van Gilder, Walmart chief medical officer.  

More information on the program can be found here.

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