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Altru Pharmacies Work to Reduce Overdose Deaths Around Prescription Opioids

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The Altru Retail Pharmacy and the Altru Family Medicine Residency Pharmacy both participate in the ONE program. ONE, which stands for Opioid and Naloxone Education, is an initiative that provides pharmacies with the opportunity to help stop opioid misuse and accidental overdose through screening, education and other resources.

“We feel it’s important to participate in ONE because it allows us to further increase patient safety around prescribed opioids. ONE allows us to expand the availability of Narcan throughout our community to both patients/families who are aware they may be at risk for opioid overdose, as well as those who did not know they were at risk until they participated in the risk screening with the pharmacist,” explained Rosemary Kalenze, outpatient pharmacy manager for Altru.

Narcan, also known as naloxone, is a prescription medicine used for the treatment of a known or suspected opioid overdose emergency. ONE helps pharmacists protect patients by removing barriers to obtaining Narcan and providing education to patients.

While the ONE program began at the North Dakota State University School of Pharmacy and initially only included North Dakota pharmacies, it has now expanded to multiple states. Once a pharmacy enrolls in ONE, they have multiple resources available to them: online training for pharmacists, follow-up training for pharmacy technicians, educational materials and training that fulfills the requirement for pharmacists to register as Narcan (naloxone) prescribers.

Pharmacies participating in ONE are helping reduce negative outcomes and improve informational support around opioids for both patients and their caregivers.

According to a November 2021 news release by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drug overdose deaths now exceed 100,000 people annually.