August 2, 2023
The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) awarded the Ohio Pharmacists Association (OPA) a $24,000 education and implementation grant for the Pharmacist Continuing Education Project with Assistance to Facilitate Protocol Implementation to Address Nicotine Use Disorder.
The project grant was drafted by Myriam Shaw Ojeda, PharmD, assistant professor of pharmacy practice at The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy and director of Pharmacy Extension and Public Health Initiatives at OPA.
The project grant aims to train pharmacists to conduct a nicotine use disorder clinical service in community-based pharmacies. This training equips pharmacists to dispense nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) under a physician-authorized protocol following the passage of House Bill 110 during the 134th General Assembly. The Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) 4729:1-3-07 outlines how pharmacists use a physician-authorized protocol to dispense NRT, including education requirements and screening procedures.
“The training provides an entry point for any community-based pharmacist seeking the education needed to start a nicotine use disorder or smoking cessation program,” Dr. Shaw Ojeda said.
The expected outcomes of this project include an NRT protocol template available to all OPA members and a continuing education nicotine use disorder training program that complies with the education requirements in the OAC. Dr. Shaw Ojeda stated that the training and protocol should be made available later this year.
OPA is partnering with Davies Pharmacy in Canton, Ohio, as a test site. The concept behind the program is to introduce the protocol and any necessary training to the pharmacist team first to get valuable feedback from community pharmacists as they test the program in the real world.
“The patients we serve trust the team of pharmacists at Davies Pharmacy to provide the highest quality care, and we seek to include clinical assistance for nicotine use disorder through this partnership," said Zak Fettman, PharmD, enhanced services coordinator pharmacist, and OPA board member for District 12. "We hope this grant will serve as a great investment to empower Ohio pharmacists to enhance their expertise in this field."
OPA continues to seek to advance pharmacy practice and public health partnerships as critical factors in serving Ohio’s patients.
“It is great to see the intent of the General Assembly and the mission statement of OPA come together in improving the public health of Ohioans,” said Dave Burke, RPh, OPA executive director.
OPA members can watch for the protocol template and continuing education programming to be available by the end of the year.