Walgreens has made an opioid antidote available without a prescription


Staff report

YOUNGSTOWN

Walgreens on Monday announced it has made naloxone, a potentially lifesaving opioid antidote, available without a prescription in all of its Ohio pharmacies in accordance with state pharmacy regulations.

Naloxone is now more accessible and easier to obtain in more than 240 Walgreens pharmacies throughout Ohio. The medication 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 Ohio families and caregivers to help their loved ones in need,” said Chris Creamer, Walgreens regional health care director in Ohio. “We are committed to making naloxone more accessible in the communities we serve.”

Earlier this month, Walgreens announced plans to make naloxone available without a prescription in 35 states and Washington, D.C., in accordance with each state’s pharmacy regulations. In states where a prescription is required, Walgreens will work with regulators to help update rules to allow for dispensing naloxone without a prescription.

When implementation of the program is complete, naloxone will be available without a prescription in more than 5,800 of Walgreens nearly 8,200 stores.

“Heroin took the lives of more than 2,400 Ohioans in 2014,” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said. “By making naloxone available to customers without a prescription, Walgreens will help make this lifesaving drug available to those who need it.”

Walgreens also will be installing safe medication- disposal kiosks in more than 500 pharmacies in 39 states, including Ohio. The kiosks allow individuals to dispose of their unwanted, unused or expired prescriptions, including controlled substances, and over-the-counter medications at no cost.

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