CVS Will Sell Naloxone Without Prescription in 14 States

Naloxone boxes and syringe

CVS announced it will add 12 states to its program to sell the opioid overdose antidote naloxone without a prescription, bringing the total to 14. The company already sells naloxone without a prescription in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

“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,” Tom Davis, Vice President of Pharmacy Professional Practices at CVS, said in a statement. “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.”

The states included in Wednesday’s announcement are Arkansas, California, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and Wisconsin. According to The Huffington Post, pharmacy boards in these states can make decisions about offering naloxone without a prescription.

“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,” Davis said.

Use of naloxone kits resulted in almost 27,000 drug overdose reversals between 1996 and 2014, according to a government study published earlier this year. Providing naloxone kits to laypersons reduces overdose deaths, is safe, and is cost-effective, the researchers noted.

“U.S. and international health organizations recommend providing naloxone kits to laypersons who might witness an opioid overdose; to patients in substance use treatment programs; to persons leaving prison and jail; and as a component of responsible opioid prescribing,” the researchers wrote in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

36 Responses

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    May 18, 2017 at 12:06 PM

    Narcan is an emergency life saving medication whereas cancer treatments are long term therapies. They really can’t be compared.
    It is also an indication of lack of knowledge on the subject of addiction when a person judges an addict for becoming addicted to a opioids. Nobody wants to become an addict.

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    Sandra Aponte

    May 14, 2017 at 9:07 PM

    It is true addiction is a disease but seems the government and agencies will do anything to safe the lifes of people that play russian roulette with their lifes by now every one knows they will die even as an accidental OD
    so spending millions in people that dont care about dying seems hopeless
    regarding cancer the children victims of this devastating disease deserve better chances earlier faster drug approbals and financial aid
    People that smoke and drink or eat excessively know by now they may develop cancer as well
    seems these people dont care about the consequences
    We are all accountable for our choices

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    May 13, 2017 at 7:39 PM

    Not evevery overdose occurs the way you are implying. Overdoses also occur from not taking prescription medication properly. A neighbor of mine was injured in an accident and the dr prescribed oxy for the pain.He thankfully dis not become addicted, but was by himself one day and thought he forgot to take his medicine, so when he woke up he took more. Luckily i came by and was able to call 911, they gave him narcan and it saved his life. By your comment it sounds as though they should have just allowed him to overdose since he “TOOK DRUGS” . People shouldnt be so narrow minded.

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    Jennifer Nelson

    May 8, 2017 at 10:30 AM

    What I don’t understand is why are pharmacies selling narcan for the people that overdoes with drugs and not help the people with cancer that can’t afford to pay for chemotherapy and are dying. The world is going crazy and instead of helping the people that actually need help they don’t and people that just decide to do drugs and then overdose themselves, they help them.

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    May 7, 2017 at 5:57 PM

    Maybe the Drs that prescribe should be held more accountable . Not one comment about Dr’s and pain clinics that prescribe pain meds . Also what about our troops protecting the poppy fields in Afganstain . Heroin doesn’t just come here from Mexico. Addiction is a disease this is a life saving remedy. Easier access to rehab needs to be put in place if you don’t have insurance it costs a fortune . Just making a point there is a huge epidemic of abuse that needs to be addressed and not judged. I have been a caregiver for 13 yrs I’ve seen to many people addicted to their pain meds, had one that was given narcan every single time I called 911 no matter the reason if she was unconscious from a fall low sugars from being a type 1 brittle diabetic, and the numerous health issues she had, she would wake up pissed but they were aware of the large amount of opiates she was on and never took a chance of the reason of why I called if she wasn’t concious which happened numerous times during the 7 yrs I cared for her when I would walk in. She asked why I didn’t stop them from giving her narcan , not my place I’m not a medical professional. Sadly she passed in her sleep. That’s just one of many stories I could tell. Everyone needs to be held accountable the addicts became that way some how, not everyone buys drugs off the street. This woman plus another one I had were recovering iv drug users . where’s the sense in that heavily medicating them ? You better bet if they had narcan on hand I would of used it then called for help.

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