Walgreens expands availability of Naloxone
Deerfield-based Walgreens Wednesday announced it expanded availability of naloxone, a lifesaving opioid antidote, without requiring a prescription to Mississippi, Missouri and Washington D.C. That brings the total to 33 states and the District of Columbia where Walgreens makes naloxone available without a prescription.
The medication can be dispensed in accordance with each state's pharmacy regulations at nearly 5,800 Walgreens pharmacies. Naloxone can be used in the event of an overdose to reverse the effects of heroin or other opioid drugs, and is administered by injection or nasal spray.
"By making naloxone available without a prescription, we are making it easier for families and caregivers to help their loved ones by having it on hand in case it's needed," said Rick Gates, Walgreens group vice president of pharmacy. "As a pharmacy we are here to help people, and we are committed to making naloxone more accessible in the communities we serve."
Walgreens will continue make the medication available in more states without a prescription. By early 2017 the company plans to begin offering naloxone without requiring a prescription in Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Nevada and Tennessee.
Drug abuse continues to be a public health and safety risk. More Americans die every day from drug overdoses than from motor vehicle crashes, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, nearly 19 million Americans misused a prescription drug in 2015 1.
When naloxone is dispensed instructions are provided on how to administer the medication, which includes calling 911 as naloxone is not a substitute for medical care, and anyone who is administered the medication should seek immediate medical attention.
States where Walgreens offers naloxone without requiring a prescription: Alabama, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York (including Duane Reade pharmacies), North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.