Pharmacy U

The opioid crisis and you

Wilson Li

In 2016, there were more than 2,800 deaths from opioid overdoses, and every day 16 Canadians are hospitalized as a result of opioid poisoning.


by Wilson Li, BSc.Phm.

Some communities are declaring this issue as a public health emergency. This is why naloxone kits are available at most pharmacies across the country at minimal or no charge.

As a pharmacist, you can play a significant role in educating opioid patients and their families about naloxone, opioid usage, and where to turn for help.

What are the best ways to approach patients with risk factors of opioid overdose while reducing stigma? What is the role of intranasal naloxone spray and what is its proper use, along with pharmacokinetics, availability and advantages compared to the intramuscular formulation.

A sustainable business model of dispensing naloxone can be developed in your pharmacy while creating a positive impact for your community. During my own experience as a community pharmacist training the first 100 patients on naloxone, those patients’ survey feedback was documented pre- and post-training. The objective of this practice-based study was to look at patients’ perception, understanding and acceptability of naloxone who were trained by the pharmacist.

Wilson Li will be presenting the results and insights gained from this original study at Pharmacy U.

Wilson Li graduated in 2009 from UofT’s Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy and began his pharmacy career at Shoppers Drug Mart. He became a CDE pharmacist in 2012 and organizes regular A1c clinics while collecting patient data for practice-based research. Most recently, Wilson and his team completed a national community-pharmacy-based A1c study with over 1,000 patients across the country. His team’s results were published in the International Journal of Pharmacy Practice (IJPP) as a proposed Canadian model for diabetes care. He has been invited as a speaker to many local and national conferences sharing his innovative practices in diabetes care, including UofT’s Self-Care Symposium in 2016.