Nationwide pharmacist-provided naloxone to prevent opioid overdose deaths and save lives

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Tragic and preventable.

Our loved ones are dying from overdose of prescription opioids because they don't have access to the lifesaving antidote naloxone.

Opioids are excellent medications for relieving some types of pain, but misuse can be deadly. The president has established a commission with a worthy cause, but the interim report omits critical healthcare providers that can provide access to life-saving medication, pharmacists. The interim report advocates for the president to "Provide model legislation for states to allow naloxone dispensing via standing orders, as well as requiring the prescribing of naloxone with high-risk opioid prescriptions;" but stops short of clear advocacy for pharmacist-provided naloxone dispensing without a prescription (via standing order) and insurance coverage to anyone at risk of experiencing or witnessing an overdose .  

Pharmacist-provided naloxone dispensing via standing order (without a prescription) is important for a few reasons:

  • Pharmacists are the most accessible healthcare providers:  No appointment is necessary.  Because pharmacists are the medication experts and patients provide self-care and care to their loved ones using OTC products, it is very common for patients to seek advice and help from pharmacists on behalf of someone else.
  • Patients can seek naloxone from pharmacists without concern about what the opioid prescriber may think: By allowing the pharmacist to dispense naloxone without a prescription, patients can avoid concerns that the prescriber of the opioid medication might hesitate to prescribe the opioid if they admit that they or a loved one might be at risk of overdose.
  • Pharmacists have more pieces of the puzzle: Because patients often see many healthcare providers, pharmacists have the most comprehensive list of patient medications and routinely access prescription drug monitoring programs. 

Pharmacists have doctorate degrees in using medication wisely and preventing or minimizing side-effects.  Let us help.