DEERFIELD, Ill., December 21, 2016 - As part of its comprehensive national plan to combat drug abuse, Walgreens today announced it has now expanded availability of naloxone, a lifesaving opioid antidote, without requiring a prescription to Mississippi, Missouri and Washington D.C. That brings the total to 33 states and the District of Columbia where Walgreens makes naloxone available without a prescription.
The medication can be dispensed in accordance with each state’s pharmacy regulations at nearly 5,800 Walgreens pharmacies. Naloxone 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 families and caregivers to help their loved ones by having it on hand in case it’s needed,” said Rick Gates, Walgreens group vice president of pharmacy. “As a pharmacy we are here to help people, and we are committed to making naloxone more accessible in the communities we serve.”
Walgreens will continue make the medication available in more states without a prescription. By early 2017 the company plans to begin offering naloxone without requiring a prescription in Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Nevada and Tennessee.
Drug abuse continues to be a public health and safety risk. More Americans die every day from drug overdoses than from motor vehicle crashes, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, nearly 19 million Americans misused a prescription drug in 20151.
When naloxone is dispensed instructions are provided on how to administer the medication, which includes calling 911 as naloxone is not a substitute for medical care, and anyone who is administered the medication should seek immediate medical attention.
States where Walgreens offers naloxone without requiring a prescription:
Alabama, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York (including Duane Reade pharmacies), North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Walgreens (www.walgreens.com), one of the nation's largest drugstore chains, is included in the Retail Pharmacy USA Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA), the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. More than 10 million customers interact with Walgreens each day in communities across America, using the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice. Walgreens operates 8,175 drugstores with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Walgreens omnichannel business includes Walgreens.com and VisionDirect.com. Approximately 400 Walgreens stores offer Healthcare Clinic or other provider retail clinic services.
1 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-FFR2-2015/NSDUH-FFR2-2015.htm