Presented by: Diane Mukasahaha, Arielle Eagan
Focused on a patient as a person in an environment, public health and palliative care call for a holistic, interdisciplinary view of care delivery, both clinically and through the health care system’s design as whole. If engaged in palliative care training, treatment decisions with the clinical team, and advocacy around the procurement of pain medications, pharmacists stand as key stakeholders in ensuring, in particular, that pain management medicines flow through procurement chains properly and reach the hands of physicians, and thus patients in need. But if left out of trainings, not informed of care decisions, and not empowered to understand and advocate for pain medicines in supply chains, pharmacists risk creating a cascading barrier for palliative care at the clinical level. As Rwanda experienced, pharmacists ordering less pain medications can unintentionally create stock outs and, ultimately, disrupting the supply chain flow of the medicine to the patient in need. Rwanda’s Medical Procurement and Production Division recognized this growing systemic barrier and created trainings to dispel morphine myths and educate pharmacists on palliative care. Beginning with an interactive quiz based on the Morphine and Pain Management Skills Initial Assessment that Rwanda created and now uses, the audience will assess their own skills and envision how this tool, training, and concept of the cross-sector inclusion of pharmacy can apply is their own settings. Coming from all disciplines and backgrounds, attendees will be encouraged to develop action steps for how to reorient pharmacists to become advocates in their local palliative care systems.