Background: Prescription opioid abuse rates have rapidly increased in recent years and is now considered a national epidemic by the United States government. Community pharmacies are at the forefront of opioid abuse given it is a primary place where opioid prescriptions are obtained. Objectives: To develop and evaluate a candidate tool/guideline to help community pharmacists monitor and manage potential opioid prescription abuse.
Practice Innovation: Development of an algorithm-based tool, called the STOMP (STopping Opioid Misuse Through Pharmacies) tool, to use in support of safe opioid dispensing in community pharmacies.
Evaluation: The STOMP tool has been reviewed by two discussion groups and six in-depth interviews with different community pharmacy stakeholders.
Result: Key characteristics of the STOMP tool include: (1) start with ensuring authenticity of the prescription; (2) encourage early use of the state prescription drug monitoring program as a primary screening tool to detect those at risk for prescription opioid abuse; (3) pharmacists should employ the additional abuse detection steps of clinical profile review, observation of the person picking up the prescription, and insurance acceptance/rejection; (4) intervention steps should involve protocols of sharing concerns with the patient, making contact with the prescriber, and/or return of the prescription if appropriate, and (5) easy to follow and significantly enhanced through color coding.
Conclusion: Future steps involve feasibility of testing the utility of the STOMP tool in different community practices, determining impact of the model on the number of opioid prescriptions dispensed, and individuals referred to prescribers for discussions about possible prescription opioid abuse.