Duke Team Earn NIH Funding as Part of National Effort to Combat Opioid Crisis

More than $24 million in funding is part of the Helping to End Addiction Long-term Initiative
Pills spilling from a pill bottleResearch teams from Duke received more than $24 million in federal grants to address challenges related to pain and the opioid crisis, with more than $19 million awarded to investigators from the Duke Clinical Research Institute, the world’s largest academic research organization. Professor of Psychiatry Lit-zy Wu is among the award winners. 
The grants are part of the NIH’s Helping to End Addiction Long-term Initiative (NIH HEAL Initiative). The federal research initiative, launched in early 2018 by NIH Director Francis S. Collins, aims to apply scientific solutions to improve treatments for chronic pain, curb the rates of opioid use disorder and overdose, and achieve long-term recovery for opioid addiction.
The Duke research awards are part of the NIH’s funding allocation that includes 375 grants across 41 states. Additional awards of more than $12 million are anticipated over the next five years, which would bring Duke’s total grant amount to more than $36 million.

Wu’s study aims to leverage community pharmacies to improve treatment and follow-up for people with opioid use disorder. 

“Community pharmacists can play an important role in the prevention and treatment for substance use disorders,” says Wu. “The findings from this study will help characterize barriers and facilitators related to implementing pharmacist-provided or pharmacy-based services and patient care for people with opioid use disorders, and I am excited to have the opportunity to lead this timely project.”

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