Year of Publication



Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Date Available


Degree Name

Master of Public Administration

Executive Summary

Problem Statement: This capstone will focus on Kentucky’s Pharmacy Recovery Network (PRN). In general, professional recovery networks are organizations that act as a liaison between professional state boards and the health professionals who are dealing with substance abuse and addictions that sometimes result in negative consequences to that individual and/or their profession. Instead of a “one-strike and you are out” approach, these organizations recognize that there is a disease process occurring. Thus, as opposed to engaging in strictly punitive measures, a rehabilitative approach is chosen to allow the health professional an opportunity to recover and successfully reenter into their profession. The research question this study seeks to answer is, “What is the impact of KY’s PRN program? A secondary analysis will explore how KY compares with Ohio.

Research Strategy: A retrospective analysis of data from the KY PRN clients from 2000-2009 was conducted. The main point of interest focused on relapse rates or, alternatively, success rates and successful reentry back into the practice. Descriptive statistics were used to characterize the study group. Six variables were used for purposes of predicting relapse. Anecdotal data was obtained from Ohio’s similar recovery program.

Major Findings: The average number of cases per year for the Board was 8. The average age of Kentucky Pharmacists who were treated was 43 years old with a majority being male. The mean time of being licensed before treatment was 16 yrs. The most popular substance abused was a mixture of opioids and/or benzodiazepines (48%). The overall relapse rate was 22%, with 4.2% of cases having 2 relapses. Of the cases that relapsed, 50% relapsed within 2 years of rehabilitation. Logistic regression was performed using relapse as the dependent variable and age, gender, number of years held license, and type of treatment as the dependent variables. Treatment in an inpatient facility is associated with statistically significantly more relapse. KY and OH appear to be similar in rates of relapse based upon anecdotal reports from OH.

Recommendations: Further studies should examine the incidence and prevalence of Pharmacists’ substance addiction rates and measure the impact of PRNs. Better data collection is recommended in order to account for certain risk factors that can predict which impaired pharmacists are at the highest risk for relapse. In the current model, treatment within an inpatient facility appears to predict a higher rate of relapse. Further data analysis, preferably with additional data, should be conducted to confirm this preliminary finding. Comparison with other states’ recovery programs would help to measure the success of KY’s PRN.



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