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Pharmacist Contributions to Chronic Pain Management is Substantial

January 28, 2021

Whether individually or as part of a multidisciplinary team, pharmacist involvement in the management of patients with chronic pain is significant, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 

“Pharmacists contribute substantially to chronic pain management,” researchers reported, “ensuring the quality use of medicine, resulting in reduced pain intensity.”  

The review included 14 studies spanning 2365 participants. Six were randomized controlled trials, and eight were observational studies. Researchers were interested in gauging the impact of pharmacist intervention in chronic pain management as individuals or as part of multidisciplinary teams. 

The most common pharmacist intervention in chronic pain management was medication review, according to findings. In pooled analysis, patients’ pain intensity improved with the pharmacist-led intervention. 

Results also showed pharmacist-provided opiate stewardship was effective. Findings were mixed, however, on its impact on physical functioning, anxiety, depression, and quality of life. 

According to the study, pharmacist intervention in chronic pain management did increase costs compared with treatment as usual. 

“Further studies with rigorous design are needed to measure the impact of pharmacist‐provided intervention individually or in a multidisciplinary team on the economic benefit and other health outcomes,” researchers concluded.

Jolynn Tumolo 


Thapa P, Lee SWH, Kc B, Dujaili JA, Mohamed Ibrahim MI, Gyawali S. Pharmacist led intervention on chronic pain management: A systematic review and meta-analysis [published online ahead of print, 2021 Jan 24]. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2021;10.1111/bcp.14745. doi:10.1111/bcp.14745

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