Pain management considerations in MTM: The next CPE series

March 15, 2013

A sneak preview of the next CPE series

Dispensed as Written

We hope you are enjoying the “Medication Therapy Management (MTM) in Patients with Diabetes” continuing pharmacy education series, which began in September 2012 and continues with online interactive cases that started last month. We have received excellent feedback so far, so if you are not participating, please consider taking all the activities to gain comprehensive knowledge in diabetes care.

The series ends with a live meeting held May 22 and 23 at the University of Connecticut, with pharmacists attending a one-day session only. The live event will further develop your skills in MTM and motivational interviewing. The seven journal articles published in Drug Topics and the three online interactive cases are prerequisites for the live meeting. During the live event, pharmacists will be required to work up a case for discussion and participate in an interactive afternoon of motivational interviewing training. Finally, following the live event, pharmacists will be asked to follow two patients, perform MTM sessions, and follow up on identified medication-related problems to earn a certificate in MTM for Patients with Diabetes from the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy.

As we look ahead to the future of our profession, we are seeing enthusiasm for the expanding role of pharmacists, including a strong dedication by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) toward reimbursement for pharmacists’ services and Walgreens’ innovation through the announcement of accountable care organizations led by pharmacists in three states. The University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy and Drug Topics are dedicated to preparing you for your expanding roles in the profession.

Pain management series

Our next series of comprehensive education, beginning next month, is pain management. Pain is the most common reason patients visit their physician. It is a common symptom of a variety of conditions, from the simplest strain or sprain to complex pain associated with diabetes, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, or cancer. Drug therapy for painful conditions is complex, in that it requires both science and art to assist patients in obtaining and maintaining good levels of pain control.

As pharmacists move more and more into the practice of MTM, they will increasingly encounter patients who, in addition to their chronic medical conditions, experience all types of pain and are exposed to a variety of medications to control their pain. Over the next several months (April through August), Drug Topics and the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy will be providing a series of comprehensive knowledge-based continuing pharmacy education feature articles that will provide the scaffolding for application of that knowledge to practice-relevant cases. Following the journal installments, online interactive cases available in September and October will be provided to hone your skills in the areas of common pain conditions, pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic therapies, and clinical pearls to ensure that patients get the best therapy for their individual painful conditions. The interactive cases are designed to assist the pharmacist in identifying, solving, and preventing medication-related problems associated with pain management while considering the complexities of multiple medical problems and prescribers.

This continuing pharmacy education series in pain management will model the successful MTM in Patients with Diabetes CPE series. Feedback from this important series has been extremely positive, and the culmination of those activities will give us information on how continuing professional development affects behavior change and patient outcomes. 

We look forward to many pharmacists participating in the education and would welcome comments on future programming.

Jill Fitzgerald, PharmD, is director of Pharmacy Professional Development and assistant clinical professor at the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy (www.pharmacy.uconn.edu/academics/ce).