DEERFIELD, Ill., January 17, 2017 - As part of its comprehensive national plan to combat drug abuse, Walgreens today announced it has made naloxone, a lifesaving opioid antidote, available without a prescription in all of its Arizona pharmacies in accordance with state pharmacy regulations.
Naloxone is now more accessible and easier to obtain in more than 240 Walgreens pharmacies throughout Arizona. 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 Arizona families and caregivers to help their loved ones by having it on hand in case it’s needed,” said Brian Sizemore, Walgreens Regional Healthcare Director in Arizona. “As a pharmacy we are here to help people, and we are committed to making naloxone more accessible in the communities we serve.”
In February, Walgreens announced plans to make naloxone available without a prescription in states and Washington D.C. where regulations allow. Since its announcement, naloxone has been made available without a prescription in more than 34 states and Washington D.C.
“We need all hands on deck to stop the unrelenting wave of opioid drug and heroin overdose deaths throughout Arizona and the rest of the country,” said Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. “By signing HB 2355, it became possible for pharmacies like Walgreens to make naloxone available for loved ones and others who may be in a position to save the life of someone struggling with addiction.”
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.
“I was proud to champion legislation last session that increases access to Naloxone for Arizonans and their loved ones effected by opioid abuse. Today, we see the positive impact of the law,” said Arizona State Rep. Heather Carter, chair of the Arizona House Health Committee. “I’m excited for Walgreens leadership role to help address this critical issue in their pharmacies throughout the state.”
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:
Arizona, 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