South Okanagan man awarded for work in preventing opioid abuse

Chris Pasin offers expertise and education on the optimal use of chronic pain medication

An Okanagan pharmacist was awarded for his work to prevent and reverse the devastating effects of the overuse and abuse of opioids.

Chris Pasin, a pharmacist and business owner of several pharmacies based in Oliver, Penticton and West Kelowna, is the recipient of the 2017 Ben Gant Innovative Practice Award, presented by the B.C. Pharmacy Association (BCPhA). This award recognizes a pharmacist who has demonstrated significant innovation in their pharmacy practice.

Offering expertise and education on the optimal use of chronic pain medications to different groups of physicians across the Okanagan over the last several years, Pasin has dedicated hundreds of volunteer hours towards the health-care cause close to his heart. He has also provided insight into developing effective communication and care strategies for chronic pain patients with other supporting professionals, including physiotherapists, mental health workers and the RCMP.

“It’s a huge move forward in the profession,” said Pasin, who has been pushing to expand the pharmacist’s patient care role since entering the field in the early 1990s. “We do medication reviews in the store as well, but when you do it in a doctor’s office, then it has some real credibility.”

Most recently, he was invited by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C. to present and participate in the latest Methadone 101 course, B.C.’s only recognized course for physicians to gain their methadone prescription license.

Partnering with his local family physician (and former South Okanagan General Hospital Chief of Staff) Dr. Peter Entwistle, Pasin provides regular in-clinic medication consultations and reviews, offering patients a comprehensive and collaborative approach to their health care.

“The model that he has helped develop promises to provide a sustainable and patient-focused practical and equitable model of care to patients,” said Entwistle.

The BCPhA Excellence in B.C. Pharmacy Awards recognize pharmacists and others who have gone above and beyond in their profession. The awards were presented at the BCPhA Annual Conference in Whistler on May 26.

The British Columbia Pharmacy Association is a not-for-profit, voluntary, professional association of pharmacists and pharmacies. It represents more than 3,100 pharmacists and 900 pharmacies throughout B.C.