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Should Naloxone Require a Prescription?

Naloxone prescriptionIn the USA CVS pharmacies have announced plans to offer naloxone without a prescription in some states. This is an opioid overdose drug that has saved thousands of people from an overdose death in the United States alone. Many police officer and first responders are carrying naloxone with them in their vehicles so that the drug can be administered immediately after an opioid overdose occurs. 12 American states have eliminated the requirement for a prescription before Naloxone is dispensed, and other states as well as countries outside the USA including Canada may follow suit in the near future. Naloxone is also available under the brand name Narcan. The drug can be delivered by injection or through the use of an inhaler and it can reverse the effects that opioid drugs like heroin and prescription pain medications have in the body.

Should a prescription be required for Naloxone? This opioid overdose antidote does not really have the potential for abuse, it is not addictive in any way, and it does not have the potential to create additional problems. Studies and reports have shown that when Naloxone is on hand and an opioid overdose occurs the individual has a much higher chance of surviving. According to CVS/pharmacy vice president of pharmacy professional practices Tom Davis “Over 44,000 people die from accidental drug overdoses every year in the United States and most of those deaths are from opioid drugs, including controlled substance pain medication and illegal drugs such as heroin. Naloxone is a safe and effective antidote to opioid overdoses and by providing access to this medication in our pharmacies without a prescription in more states, we can help save lives.”

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