The researchers at Keele University are testing a new way to train pharmacists to support patients using opioids for long-term pain.
The PROMPPT (Proactive clinical review of patients taking opioid medicines long-term for persistent pain led by clinical pharmacists in primary care teams) trial is a five-year-long study funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). It will focus on patients using opioid drugs, including codeine and morphine.
The researchers are seeking views from pharmacists, GPs and patients to help design a new way for clinical pharmacists to work with teams in GP surgeries to review patients who are taking opioids long term.
“By really understanding the views of people with experience of long-term pain and using opioid painkillers through the online blog, we can develop a clinical pharmacist review that is relevant, useful and appealing to the people who will use it,” said Dr Julie Ashworth, who co-leads the PROMPPT programme.
The researchers have also launched an online discussion forum for patients.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock urged everyone eligible to participate in this research.
“We are in the grip of an over-medication crisis and it is vital that we help people find alternative to addictive opioids to manage their pain. This government-funded study will help pharmacists and health professionals better support their patients and help move them onto more effective treatment,” Hancock said.