SIUE Pain Summit Recommendations Announced Today

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The advisory council of the Pharmacy Pain and Palliative Care Summit, conducted last fall by the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy, today released its 40-page list of recommendations about how to enhance pain management training for pharmacists. The recommendations were release at the 29th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Pain Society in Baltimore.

Through improved education, pharmacists have the opportunity to contribute to the alleviation of pain and related symptoms.

The advisory council of the Pharmacy Pain and Palliative Care Summit, conducted last fall by the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy, today released its 40-page list of recommendations about how to enhance pain management training for pharmacists. The recommendations were release at the 29th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Pain Society in Baltimore.

According to Chris Herndon, an assistant professor at the SIUE School, the pain summit was the first of its kind within the profession. “These recommendations are geared toward how we prepare pharmacists, as well as those already practicing, to deal with pain and symptom management, a course of training not offered at all pharmacy schools,” Herndon said.

“We have found that the SIUE School of Pharmacy is one of the few schools in the United States that offers specialized training in this area.”

Herndon, who coordinated the summit at SIUE in October, explained that the pain summit advisory council is calling for enhancement of pain management training for all pharmacy schools and post-graduate training programs. “The recommendations are aimed at schools that are training pharmacists, state boards that license pharmacists and organizations that accredit pharmacy schools,” he said. “Adopting these recommendations would result in pharmacists becoming more of an active participant in treating these patients. Through improved education, pharmacists have the opportunity to contribute to the alleviation of pain and related symptoms,” Herndon said.

Herndon pointed out that especially in some lower income areas pharmacists have either refused to stock certain pain medications or provide these medications for fear of contributing to addiction. These situations have been documented throughout certain regions of the country,” he said. “We have to be cognizant if someone is abusing the pain medication but we also have to recognize that a patient’s use of pain medication doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a drug addict.

Herndon said the pain summit advisory council represents an impressive array of health care professionals as well as representatives from pain and palliative care related professional organizations, including physicians who are well versed in pain and palliative care. “We can now take these recommendations to state boards around the country and show how pharmacy training needs to be beefed up in pain management. Herndon said the advisory council’s plan is to further the recommendations on an international basis. Visit the website—pharmacypainsummit.com—for the full list of recommendations.

As the only downstate Illinois pharmacy doctorate program, the SIUE School of Pharmacy is addressing the growing need in Southern and Central Illinois, as well as the nation at large, for well-trained pharmacists in a career field that is experiencing rapid and dramatic growth. With the theme of Nurturing for Life, we focus on the premise that pharmacists improve patient care through the medicine and information they provide. In health care facilities of all types, today’s pharmacists advise other medical professionals on the selection and effects of drugs. Our students work alongside other health professionals, greatly enhancing the educational experience for our students. The School of Pharmacy, founded in 2005, recently was awarded full accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). The School of Pharmacy at SIUE has been hailed nationally as a model program.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is a nationally recognized university that educates and develops professional and community leaders through its excellent faculty and programs. With a student-teacher ratio of 17 to 1, we offer the advantages of a small, liberal arts college with the lowest tuition of all 12 of the state universities in Illinois. In addition, our emphasis on undergraduate education, complemented by faculty research, creates practical applications for student learning. And, at SIUE, students interact with faculty at all levels, a critical factor in academic success. Only 25 minutes from downtown St. Louis—with its nationally known Fortune 500 companies, professional sports venues, cultural offerings and transportation that puts you within minutes of just about anywhere in the Metro Area—the SIUE campus is situated on 2,660 acres of beautiful, forested woodland atop the bluffs overlooking the natural beauty of the Mississippi River's rich bottom land.

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Gregory J. Conroy

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