CVS will offer overdose reversal drug naloxone without prescription

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The overdose-reversal medication naloxone is available without an individual prescription at all 20 CVS Pharmacy locations in Delaware, including those located inside Target stores.

CVS pharmacists will be able to dispense naloxone to patients without an individual prescription under a statewide standing order issued by the Division of Public Health.

“By making naloxone available to the public without a prescription, CVS Health has taken an important step in helping us combat the opioid epidemic here in Delaware,” said Governor John Carney. “Naloxone can give people a second chance to get medical care and be connected to resources to treat their addiction. We greatly appreciate their partnership.”

“Naloxone is a safe and effective antidote to opioid overdoses and by expanding access to this medication in our pharmacies in Delaware we can help save lives,” said Tom Davis, RPh, Vice President of Pharmacy Professional Services at CVS Pharmacy. “CVS Health is dedicated to helping the communities we serve address and prevent prescription drug abuse and we are expanding access to naloxone to give more people a chance to get the help they need for recovery.”

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In July, Governor Carney signed Senate Bill 48, which expanded community access to naloxone by ensuring pharmacists had the same legal protections as doctors, peace officers and good Samaritans. Pharmacists can now dispense the medicine responsibly without potential legal, criminal, or disciplinary actions due to injuries or death sustained in connection with dispensing the drug. Naloxone will be available at the pharmacy counter in participating pharmacies to anyone who is educated on its appropriate use and signs an acknowledgement form. DPH hopes that this measure, in combination with a revised standing order allowing pharmacists to dispense naloxone nasal spray, will increase access for those concerned about someone at risk of an overdose.

“Our first priority is to save lives, and expanding access to this overdose-reversing medication through local pharmacies gives more people in the community the opportunity to help us do that,” said Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of the Division of Public Health. “We see no signs of the opioid epidemic slowing and we need all the tools at our disposal to turn the tide.”

Overdose deaths in Delaware climbed from 172 in 2012 to 228 in 2015, and then jumped to 308 deaths in 2016. There have been approximately 190 suspected drug overdose deaths to date in 2017. First responders administered the life-saving medication naloxone more than 1,535 times in 2016 and 1,280 times in the first half of 2017.

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