Chronic Pain Management- Pharmacist

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Pain is the number one symptom prompting Americans to seek medical care, and it is a leading cause of disability in the U.S. Chronic pain affects 100 million U.S. adults – more than the number affected by heart disease, diabetes, and cancer combined. Chronic pain has a major impact on quality of life and often impairs the afflicted person’s ability to function as a family member or employee. Up to 35 - 50% of chronic pain patients also suffer from depression. A conservative estimate of the economic burden of pain in the U.S., including both healthcare costs and lost work productivity, is $560-635 billion annually. A number of treatment options are available, including medications, surgery, physical therapy, psychotherapy, and alternative therapies. On average, treatment reduces pain by only 30% in about half of those treated. The main goal of therapy is improvement in daily function. Prolonged use of opioid analgesics has become a typical scenario, due in part to a growing consensus that opioids are appropriate for some patients with chronic noncancer pain. Sales of opioid analgesics increased 4-fold between 1999 and 2010; the misuse and abuse of opioid medications has also increased. In 2010, 75% of the deaths due to prescription drug overdose involved opioid analgesics. Widespread media and political attention to this issue has led to increased regulation and monitoring of opioid prescriptions, shifting the focus away from the needs of chronic pain patients. Because of their accessibility to patients, community providers can play a particularly important role in chronic pain management – by assessing pain control, managing drug therapy, and educating patients. Helping patients and prescribers strike a balance between analgesic misuse/abuse and legitimate chronic pain treatment is an important component of management. This issue presents an overview of the appropriate use of medications for chronic pain, including pain assessment and basic principles for nonopioid and opioid use.

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Course Information

Target Audience

Pharm/Nurse Drug Therapy

Knowledge Level

General Overview

This activity will apply to a broad range of learning needs/pharmacy settings. It may include common disease state/therapy overivews and/or general pharmacy needs such as medication errors, immunizations, or law topics.

Learning Objectives

Course Accreditation

  • Activity Type:
    Knowledge
  • CE Broker
  • Universal Activity Number:
    Pharmacist : 0428-0000-14-001-H01-P
PharmCon is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.

PharmCon, Inc. is an approved course provider for continuing education for nurses by the Florida Board of Nursing. PharmCon is also recognized by the California Board of Nursing as a provider of nursing programs.

In order to obtain a Statement of Credit, attendees must answer poll questions where presented and complete a program evaluation. Attendees may immediately print their Statement of Credit or leave them stored on the website.

Technology Requirements

  • Hardware Requirements
    Standard Windows/Mac System
    iPad or iPhone
    Minimum screen resolution: 1024x768
    Speakers or headphones
  • Software Requirements
    Standard Windows/Mac System
    iPad or iPhone
    Minimum screen resolution: 1024x768
    Speakers or headphones
  • Network Requirements
    Broadband Internet Connection:
    T1, Hi-speed DSL or Cable
    4G cellular connection
Computer sharing is NOT permitted due to accreditation guidelines on activity monitoring. Credit is earned by one user per device.