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.
Updated/reviewed November 2018
- 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.
Updated/reviewed August 2018
- 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.
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
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.
Updated/reviewed August 2018
- 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.
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: 11/16/2018