Office based methadone treatment: A role for community pharmacists

Ellen Tuchman, Karen Bonuck, Anthony Tommasello, Ernest Drucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: As part of a study of office based treatment of opiate dependency in primary medical care, we are exploring a role for community pharmacy dispensing of methadone. To assess their readiness to collaborate with physicians in such a program, we surveyed community pharmacists regarding knowledge, attitudes, and expectations of this role in extending access to methadone maintenance treatment. Design: A self-administered 34-item survey was completed prior to a 4-session methadone training program. Participants: Sixteen pharmacists working in 4 New York community pharmacies were recruited to participate in an ongoing study to evaluate the safety, efficacy, and feasibility of this model. Main Results: Seventy five percent (12/16) of the pharmacists were "comfortable" with the idea of managing the care of drug users in their community pharmacies in conjunction with physician prescribers and social workers. Sixty-three percent (10/16) were both convinced of methadone's effectiveness and support methadone maintenance treatment of all heroin users who want methadone. Almost all pharmacists (13/16) report prior experience administering methadone for pain management, and verifying narcotic prescriptions with doctors. Conclusion: The findings from this study indicate that community pharmacists are interested in this role and community pharmacy dispensing of methadone for addiction treatment could operate in conjunction with office based methadone prescribing by primary care practitioners and help to expand access to methadone treatment in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-96
Number of pages6
JournalAddictive Disorders and their Treatment
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2003


  • Methadone maintenance treatment
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacy dispensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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