News & Updates FORE Announcements

FORE Awards $900,000 in New Grants Focused on Increasing Access to Lifesaving Medications for Opioid Use Disorder in Pharmacies

December 05, 2023

FORE today announced $900,000 in new grants to two organizations that are working to identify and address gaps in availability and dispensing of buprenorphine at retail pharmacies. Nationally, only about 18 percent of people with opioid use disorder (OUD) report the use of buprenorphine and other lifesaving medications for OUD despite efforts to increase the number of providers who can prescribe them.

University of Rhode Island is receiving $455,797 to train pharmacists in Connecticut and Ohio to prescribe buprenorphine and provide maintenance care to people with OUD as part of a demonstration program that aims to increase access to treatment in areas where physician prescribers are limited. Ten pharmacies — all part of Genoa Healthcare, the nation’s fourth largest pharmacy chain — will offer ongoing care to 100 patients over 18 months, yielding insights on best practices for recruiting and retaining patients in pharmacy-based care.

University of Southern California is receiving $437,920 to assess the availability and dispensing of buprenorphine at neighborhood pharmacies across the country. Researchers will use data from 60,000 chain and independent pharmacies to assess the medication’s availability and dispensing at the national, state, county, and community levels. The pharmacy-level data will be linked to publicly available information about a given community, including poverty rates, its racial/ethnic composition, and overdose mortality rates.

These latest grants advance FORE’s efforts to engage pharmacies and pharmacists in providing care to patients with OUD. “Medications for treatment of opioid use disorder save lives, but access to these medications is often limited creating gaps in care for patients at highest risk for overdose,” said Karen A. Scott, MD, MPH, FORE’s president. “Pharmacies have a critical role to play in ensuring that patients receive the medications they need in a timely manner. We are providing funding to expand access to treatment at this key access point.”