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The most valuable resource in a pharmacy is time. Engaging the whole pharmacy team may spread the load and increase the value of the service. Helping patients with chronic pain will build customer loyalty and respect. A pain service may help the pharmacy reach MUR targets and increase sales of appropriate treatments.
Pharmacists must ensure that they have the appropriate knowledge and skills to run a pain service. The Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE) has produced a consultation skills practice pack for pharmacists, which it updated in 2015. It still remains a fundamental skill for any pharmacist wishing to operate new services. The CPPE also recently introduced a pain management e-learning resource.
There are additional packages on addiction, misuse and dependency with a focus on both OTC and prescribed medicines, palliative care and back pain.
Courses are also available for medicines counter assistants who need to be able to differentiate patients with short-term pain from those who have chronic pain so they know which patients to offer advice to and which to refer to the pain service.
There is a wide range of training materials available in pharmacy magazines and clinical journals. As your expertise grows, remember to create a learning portfolio for you and your staff.