The pharmacists' role in patient-provider pain management treatment agreements

J Pharm Pract. 2012 Oct;25(5):510-6. doi: 10.1177/0897190012453909. Epub 2012 Jul 25.


With the increased focus on improving patients' pain control and upward trends in opioid overdose and deaths, health care professionals have become increasingly interested in reducing their professional risks and improving the safety of their patients receiving chronic opioids. These fears can often be further exacerbated by media attention of deaths from opioid misuse or unintentional overdose and physician prosecution for 'overprescribing' of controlled substances, including opioids. This article discusses the role pharmacists can play in patient-provider agreements, and highlights the potential risks associated with chronic opioid therapy. In addition, it describes the important differences between abuse, addiction, physical dependence, and tolerance. Sample informed consent for chronic opioid therapy and patient-provider agreements are included.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Opioid / administration & dosage
  • Analgesics, Opioid / adverse effects
  • Analgesics, Opioid / therapeutic use
  • Chronic Pain / drug therapy
  • Consent Forms
  • Humans
  • Pain Management* / adverse effects
  • Pharmacists*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Professional Role*


  • Analgesics, Opioid