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Rural Pharmacy and Prescription Drugs Models and Innovations

These stories feature model programs and successful rural projects that can serve as a source of ideas and provide lessons others have learned. Some of the projects or programs may no longer be active. Read about the criteria and evidence-base for programs included.

Effective Examples

Pharmacists for Patient Safety Network
Updated/reviewed August 2017
  • Need: Pharmacists in rural Nebraska are often isolated and find it difficult to communicate with others about safety concerns.
  • Intervention: The Pharmacists for Patient Safety Network is a communication network in which pharmacists can identify safety concerns and share solutions.
  • Results: After one year of implementation, 30 of the 38 participating pharmacies reported that the network encouraged new safety practices and reinforced existing safety strategies.

Promising Examples

Integrated Chronic Pain Treatment and Training Project
Added August 2017
  • Need: To reduce prescription opioid misuse and overdoses in North Carolina.
  • Intervention: The ICPTTP standardizes and streamlines chronic pain management in primary care clinics.
  • Results: The ICPTTP has reduced patients' average daily morphine equivalent dose, and 25% of program participants have stopped taking opioids altogether.

Other Project Examples

Montana "Team Up. Pressure Down." Blood Pressure Medication Adherence Project
Added November 2017
  • Need: To help rural Montana patients manage their blood pressure levels.
  • Intervention: Pharmacists distributed "Team Up. Pressure Down." materials from the Million Hearts Initiative and provided consultations.
  • Results: 89% of patients were able to adhere to their blood pressure medication, compared to 73% before the intervention.
Morrison County Accountable Community for Health
Added August 2017
  • Need: To combat prescription drug misuse in rural Morrison County, Minnesota.
  • Intervention: The Morrison County ACH brings together primary care, social services, law enforcement, and other partners to make sure that patients receive treatment and support.
  • Results: One pharmacy saw a 20% reduction in the number of prescribed opioids, and the ACH was able to taper 127 patients off opioids completely.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Upper Peninsula Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee
Updated/reviewed July 2017
  • Need: Healthcare entities in the Upper Peninsula region of Michigan were using different formularies, missing opportunities for group purchasing power and consistent care.
  • Intervention: The Upper Peninsula Health Plan and the Upper Peninsula Health Care Network developed a regional partnership for managing prescription costs and quality pharmaceuticals in rural, upper Michigan.
  • Results: More informed pharmaceutical decisions and lowered pharmaceutical costs for Upper Peninsula Health Plan member organizations.
Mobile Medication Program for Patients with Mental Illness
Updated/reviewed November 2016
  • Need: To assist individuals with mental illness in managing medication independently and to reduce hospitalization costs of treating individuals with serious mental illness.
  • Intervention: Mobile medical staff provide education, support, and skill-building to assist individuals with medication management.
  • Results: A reduction in area hospitalization costs and a reduction in the need for long-term hospitalization among program participants.

Last Updated: 11/27/2017