News & Updates FORE Announcements

New FORE Grants Seek to Improve Access to MOUD in Pharmacies and Emergency Departments

March 08, 2023

Today, FORE announced $2 million in new grants to improve access to medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) in pharmacies and emergency departments nationwide.

“Medications for the treatment of opioid use disorder have proven to be highly effective in saving lives, however access to these medications is often limited,” said Karen A. Scott, MD, MPH, president of FORE. “Pharmacies and emergency departments have a vital role in ensuring that patients receive the medications they need in a timely manner. We are providing funding to address stigma, lack of training, and other barriers to treatment at these two critical access points.”

Overcoming Pharmacy-Level Barriers to MOUD Dispensing

The University of Houston College of Pharmacy is receiving $572,278 to launch a collaboration among three schools of pharmacy and two national pharmacy organizations, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and the National Community Pharmacists Association, that will create evidence-based guidelines and continuing pharmacy education to provide pharmacists with the training required to overcome administrative, attitudinal, and knowledge-based barriers that interfere with dispensing MOUD.

Black residents of lower-income areas of Washington, DC, are disproportionately affected by opioid use disorder (OUD) and overdose deaths yet have limited access to MOUD. To increase access, The Howard University is receiving $241,043 to train at least 80 pharmacy personnel and implement a new treatment approach known as the Pharmacy-Physician-Peer Recovery Coach Collaborative model in at least three community pharmacies.

Rural Appalachian communities in Kentucky have been highly impacted by OUD and drug overdoses, yet a study found that most pharmacies in 12 Appalachian counties were limiting their dispensing of buprenorphine or were not dispensing it at all. The University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy is receiving $496,130 to develop and test a peer-to-peer, visiting education program for pharmacists to increase pharmacists’ confidence in dispensing buprenorphine.

Engaging Emergency Department Clinicians in Treating OUD

Building on previous FORE-supported project, a new grant is providing $739,003 to the Emergency Medicine Foundation, a nonprofit founded by the American College of Emergency Physicians. The team will provide intensive, tailored coaching and support to clinicians at 70 emergency departments to enhance their capacity to provide buprenorphine and naloxone to patients with opioid use disorder. They will also partner with the Naloxone Project to increase naloxone dispensing in 10 states.

This latest grant continues FORE’s work to accelerate the ability of the nation’s emergency departments to fight the opioid crisis. In 2020, FORE launched the National Emergency Medicine Consortium, consisting of three grantees, the American College of Emergency Physicians/Emergency Medicine Foundation, California Bridge at the Public Health Institute, and Get Waivered at Massachusetts General Hospital that have integrated their work into a single national initiative to significantly improve emergency department care of patients with OUD.