Skip to main content

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

Montana "Team Up. Pressure Down." Blood Pressure Medication Adherence Project
Updated/reviewed November 2019
  • 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.
Pharmacists for Patient Safety Network
Updated/reviewed August 2019
  • 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
Updated/reviewed October 2018
  • 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 morphine equivalent daily dose, and 29% of patients have successfully tapered off chronic opioid therapy.

Other Project Examples

Morrison County Accountable Community for Health
Updated/reviewed August 2019
  • 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 40% reduction in the number of prescribed opioids, and the ACH was able to taper 684 patients off opioids completely.
Scheffe Prescription Shop's Medication Synchronization Program
Added November 2018
  • Need: For adults with chronic conditions, skipping a dose or two is common, but can also be risky. Frequent medication in-adherence has accounted for emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and even death.
  • Intervention: The Scheffe Prescription Shop in Enid, Oklahoma started a medication synchronization program. Pharmacists serve as care coordinators for patients by prepackaging pills, scheduling recheck appointments, and providing pickup reminders and medication education over the phone.
  • Results: The program has reduced the number of trips patients have to take to the pharmacy to pick up their pills and has increased medication adherence rates over 4 years.
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 medication 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.

Last Updated: 11/12/2019