CVS Will Sell Naloxone Without Prescription in 14 States

Naloxone boxes and syringe

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.

Responding to Overdose with Naloxone

Learn how to respond with Naloxone to reverse an overdose and potentially save a loved one’s life.

first-aid naloxone

39 Responses

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    Larry V

    April 6, 2018 at 7:40 AM

    With the opioid crisis promoted by pharma and the ‘prescribing ‘ Dr’s the facilitators of this huge problem….then WHY doesn’t big pharma that made those profits make Narcan and other such recovery meds available to the public for FREE. Let those profits PAY for the solution. Do we really need to have a class action suit to make this happen or could we expect the Pharma co.’s and the ‘legal pill pushers ‘ pay for the solution. Will prob never happen, it makes too much sense.

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    September 21, 2017 at 3:50 AM

    Far more common and less regulated in Canada.

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    July 24, 2017 at 12:36 AM

    I wish people who don’t understand addiction, would educate themselves before mouthing off, and implying that people addicted to opioids don’t deserve treatment because they “knew” what would happen. I have yet to meet someone who aspired to bring such pain, and misery into their life, and the lives of the friends and families who love them. Ignorance is not bliss, it’s dangerous.

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