2024 Incentive Grant Recipient: Kaleigh Steelman, PharmD
Project Proposal: Implementing an Opioid Pledge in a Community-based Independent Pharmacy
Kaleigh Steelman is a Pharmacy Resident with the University of North Carolina Community Pharmacy Residency Program in Chapel Hill, NC. She graduated from the Medical University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy.
“Despite the growing awareness of the opioid epidemic and recognition of overprescribing of these medications, the state of North Carolina remains a hotspot for opioid prescribing and dispensing according to the CDC. Based on the impact of this epidemic, the role of a pharmacist is clear and important. The main aim of this project is to obtain a signed opioid pledge document for every patient on chronic opioids in the pharmacy and have it documented. Additional objectives are to counsel the patient on the importance of these medications, with the aim being to bill insurance for this service as a risk mitigation service and offer a naloxone prescription if suitable, and to work with providers to help patients titrate down from their dose when appropriate.”
"“The idea for this project came from a pharmacy owner with a large population of patients receiving chronic opioid medications. Unfortunately, these medications almost always come with a risk-benefit discussion due to the abuse potential, so the idea for a separate counseling session and signed opioid pledge for each patient on these chronic opioids was formed. The hope is that through this session we can take a deeper look into the potential risks, collaboratively manage their pain control by evaluating morphine milligram equivalents (MMEs) and offer a naloxone if appropriate."
"The most common reason I see patients not picking up a naloxone prescription with their opioid prescription is due to the affordability of naloxone. This is heartbreaking since this medication will save a life in the case of an overdose. By receiving this Incentive Grant, I am excited to say that the pharmacy will be able to give these patients that complete the pledge and counseling a naloxone prescription at a reduced cost."