Online Continuing Education (CE) for Pharmacists

Designed For
Continuing education to assist community pharmacists in identifying patients for whom dispensing an opioid prescription presents a safety risk, communicating with patients at the point of care, and coordinating with prescribers to maximize patient safety in the use of opioid pain relievers.
Online | Self-paced
2 Hours
Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE): 0.2 CEUs
UAN: 0036-0000-18-090-H01-P

Oregon State University Pharmacy CE   

The United States opioid epidemic claims approximately 15,000 lives, leads to over 300,000 emergency department visits, and costs over $72 billion annually (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011). From 1997 to 2007, the volume of opioid analgesics dispensed through pharmacies increased more than 6-fold, roughly parallel to the number of people dying from opioid overdoses. Because pharmacists are the last line of defense before prescriptions are dispensed, they occupy a critical role for potentially reducing risks associated with unsafe opioid prescribing and use as well as providing tailored patient education on potential side effects. 

RESPOND - Resources Encouraging Safe Prescription Opioid and Naloxone Dispensing

The RESPOND Toolkit online course provides Resources Encouraging Safe Prescription Opioid and Naloxone Dispensing specifically tailored for community pharmacy practice.  The toolkit is intended to help community pharmacists identify patients for whom an opioid prescription may present a safety risk, communicate more effectively with patients at the point of care, and coordinate with prescribers to maximize patient safety in the use of prescription opioid pain relievers.

This course is presented in four parts. The first will provide background information on the history and current status of the opioid epidemic in the United States. The second will focus on the history and recommended strategies for use of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) in community pharmacists’ daily workflow; the development and diffusion of PDMPs across the country has greatly enhanced the ability of pharmacists to screen for potential hazardous opioid prescribing. The third will provide tools and strategies for identifying at-risk patients and facilitating supportive, effective communication with prescribers and patients around opioid safety. The fourth will outline strategies for naloxone distribution, communication, and patient education. 

  • Detail risk factors related to opioid overdose
  • Define “corresponding responsibility” and the pharmacist’s role in addressing the opioid epidemic
  • Explain the history and present use of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMP)
  • Review recommendations for pharmacist use of the PDMP as part of a safe medication screening process
  • Outline PDMP-integrated workflow tips
  • Detail recommendations for positive, effective communication with prescribers and patients
  • Dan Hartung


    Dan Hartung, PharmD, MPH, is a pharmacist, Associate Professor of Pharmacy in the Oregon State University / Oregon Health & Science University College of Pharmacy, and an investigator in the Pacific Northwest Evidence-based Practice Center. Dr. Hartung received his PharmD from the University of Wisconsin, MPH with emphasis biostatistics and epidemiology from OHSU, completed a pharmacy residency at the Portland VA Medical Center, and outcomes research fellowship at Oregon State University. Dr. Hartung’s work involves pharmaceutical health services research, with a specific focus on pharmacy benefit design and delivery within state Medicaid programs.

  • Nicole O’Kane


    Nicole O’Kane, PharmD, serves as the Clinical Director at HealthInsight Oregon where she provides clinical oversight for all quality improvement consulting contracts (QIN/QIO). Dr. O’Kane has extensive experience collaborating with communities across Oregon to evaluate the incidence of harm related to adverse drug events, and support the integration of processes to improve medication safety. She works directly with providers, pharmacists and researchers across health care settings, including hospitals, pharmacies, and long-term care facilities, to provide leadership and project oversight to improve coordination of care for people taking high-risk medication combinations, including opioids and other controlled substances.

  • Adriane N. Irwin


    Adriane N. Irwin, MS, PharmD, BCACP, CDE, is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Oregon State University/Oregon Health & Science University College of Pharmacy and a clinical pharmacy specialist in ambulatory care. Dr. Irwin received her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Biophysics from Oregon State University and both a Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy. Dr. Irwin is trained in pharmacy practice research and has research interests in methods to justify clinical pharmacy services including quality measures and various evolving payment models.

  • Lindsey Alley


    Lindsey Alley, MS, is the Senior Research Associate at HealthInsight Oregon. Ms. Alley received her Master of Science in Applied Psychology at Portland State University, and has advanced training and expertise in both Health Psychology and Occupational Health. Ms. Alley specializes in the development of training and communication interventions to significantly impact the health and relationship functioning of workers (e.g., physicians, pharmacists) and patients. Her research has addressed various health-related behaviors including pain management, opioid safety, Safe Patient Handling, exercise, drinking, work-related injuries, and psychological well-being.