APhA, Walmart Provide Free Opioid Training to Pharmacists, Technicians


In a collaborative effort, the American Pharmacists Association and Walmart are offering free online training on opioid stewardship to all pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.


The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) is collaborating with Walmart to offer a free online training program on opioid stewardship to all pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in the United States.

Originally developed in 2018 for Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacists, the program1 is now available free to all pharmacists and technicians thanks to an unrestricted educational grant provided to APhA by Walmart, APhA said in a news release.2

The training is very timely given the increase in opioid-related overdoses due to COVID-19, APhA said.

“As we have seen, COVID-19 has created a number of challenges for patients with pain and/or substance use disorder. Owing to the increased stress and anxiety caused by social distancing and isolation, and the limited availability of routine appointments with primary providers, it is anticipated that patients with pain and/or substance use disorder have faced and will continue to face additional challenges precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dan Zlott, PharmD, BCOP, APhA’s senior vice president of education and business development, told Drug Topics®.

Related: Managing Drug Diversion Amid Pandemic

“With that in mind, we think education on these topics is crucially important to help equip pharmacists to meet the needs of our patient,” Zlott added.

More than 18,000 pharmacists and technicians have completed the program via both Walmart and APhA, according to Zlott.

“We have seen the devastation that opioid abuse can wreak first-hand in the communities we serve, which is why we originally developed this professional education program with APhA to help all 18,000 Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacists be part of the solution,” said Thomas Van Gilder, MD, chief medical officer for Walmart. “As the crisis in our country escalates, we wanted to help expand access to the program so every pharmacist at every pharmacy in the country—no matter how small or remote—can obtain critical knowledge and tools to help them serve and protect their patients from the dangers of opioid misuse and abuse.”

The customized pharmacist program contains 6.5 hours of training and education, including a pain management curriculum.

Topics include:

  • Finding Grace: An Overview of Addiction and Recovery
  • Bridging the Gap Between Pain Management and Drug Diversion
  • Chronic Pain Management Best Practices and Clinical Pearls
  • Opioid Alternatives: The Roles and Risks of NSAIDs in Pain Management
  • Using Brief Interventions in a Busy Pharmacy Setting
  • Naloxone: Understanding its Role and Use in the Community

The training is broken down into a series of modules to allow pharmacy personnel who are already short on time to fit the program into their busy schedules, Zlott said.


1. APhA Pain Management Forum 2020. APhA. Accessed August 11, 2020. http://elearning.pharmacist.com/products/6000/apha-pain-management-forum-2020-subscription

2. APhA collaborates with Walmart to provide free comprehensive opioids training program for all U.S. pharmacists and pharmacy technicians nationwide. News Release. APhA; August 10, 2020. Accessed August 11, 2020. https://www.pharmacist.com/press-release/apha-collaborates-walmart-provide-free-comprehensive-opioids-training-program-all-us

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