DEERFIELD, Ill., May 03, 2016 - 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 New Jersey pharmacies in accordance with state pharmacy regulations.
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Naloxone is now more accessible and easier to obtain in more than 190 Walgreens pharmacies throughout New Jersey. 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 New Jersey families and caregivers to help their loved ones by having it on hand in case it’s needed,” said Domenic DiPrimo, Walgreens Regional Healthcare Director in New Jersey. “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 35 states and Washington D.C. in accordance with each state’s pharmacy regulations. Since its announcement, naloxone has been made available without a prescription in more than 1,500 Walgreens pharmacies throughout the states of Alabama, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.
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.
“We’re encouraged to learn that naloxone will now be more readily available to consumers through this program,” said Acting Attorney General Robert Lougy. “In the past two years State Police, local law enforcement and EMS personnel have administered naloxone to more than 11,000 overdose victims, and saved countless lives. However, despite our best efforts, police and EMS personnel cannot be everywhere that narcotics are being procured and abused all the time. This will help save additional lives.”
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.
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. In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a total of 47,055 drug overdose deaths, which include prescription and illicit drugs. That is a 6.5 percent increase from 2013 and a 140 percent increase since 2000.
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 8 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 8,173 drugstores with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Walgreens digital business includes Walgreens.com, drugstore.com, Beauty.com, SkinStore.com and VisionDirect.com. Walgreens also manages more than 400 Healthcare Clinic and provider practice locations around the country.