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CVS to Sell Naloxone Without Prescription in More States
CVS/pharmacy has expanded the availability of the opioid overdose reversal medicine naloxone in several states.
The medication was already available at CVS/pharmacy without a prescription in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Naloxone is now available without a prescription at CVS/pharmacy locations in 12 additional states: Arkansas, California, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin.
"Over 44,000 people die from accidental drug overdoses every year in the United States and most of those deaths are from opioids, including controlled-substance pain medication and illegal drugs such as heroin. Naloxone is a safe and effective antidote to opioid overdoses, and by providing access to this medication in our pharmacies without a prescription in more states, we can help save lives," said Tom Davis, RPh, Vice President of Pharmacy Professional Practices at CVS/pharmacy. "While all 7,800 CVS/pharmacy stores nationwide can continue to order and dispense naloxone when a prescription is presented, we support expanding naloxone availability without a prescription and are reviewing opportunities to do so in other states."
In addition, CVS Health is participating in a research project with Boston Medical Center and Rhode Island Hospital to support a demonstration project of pharmacy-based naloxone rescue kits to help reduce opioid addiction and overdose deaths.
According to the Huffington Post, smaller independent pharmacies and some larger chains have also moved to increase nonprescription access to naloxone in parts of the country.
Sources: CVS; September 23, 2015; Huffington Post; September 23, 2015.