U of S researchers working to reduce opioid use through chronic pain management

A University of Saskatchewan (U of S) pilot project aims to improve patient health and reduce opioid use through chronic pain management.

Pharmacy researchers will lead a team to implement and test the new approach.

“This innovative approach will enable pharmacists, in consultation with physicians, to help patients better manage their chronic pain and use medication more safely, particularly helping those patients who are taking very high doses of opioids,” Jane Alcorn, dean of the U of S College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, said in a press release.

Family doctors and nurse practitioners will refer patients to pharmacists who will then create individualized pain management plans.

“For the most complex cases, a pain specialist physician will collaborate by phone with the pharmacist and the patient’s family doctor,” U of S assistant professor Katelyn Halpape said in a statement.

“By following this approach, our hope is that the majority of chronic pain patients will not need referrals to pain specialist physicians.”

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