CVS Expands Access to Opioid Overdose Reversal Medication

Naloxone helps combat heroin and prescription drug epidemic.

CVS health will expand access for the opioid overdose reversal medication that will be available at CVS Pharmacies in 8 new states.

Naloxone helps combat the heroin and prescription drug epidemic that has swept the country and stops overdoses. The expansion will take effect at the end of March.

The 8 new states include: Connecticut, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia, and Vermont. Within these states, and under a physician approved protocol, CVS can provide naloxone to patients who do not need an individual prescription.

“Naloxone is a safe and effective antidote to opioid overdose and by expanding availability of this medication, we can save lives and give more people a chance to get the help they need for recovery,” said Vice President of Pharmacy Professional Practices at CVS Pharmacy, Tom Davis, RPh. “By establishing a physician-approved protocol that allows our pharmacies to dispense naloxone to patients without an individual prescription, we strengthen our commitment to help the communities we serve by preventing drug abuse.”

So far there are 15 states where naloxone can be acquired without a prescription, and CVS Health will announce more states throughout the rest of 2016 in hopes to have added a total of 20 states to the program.

“Expanding access to the overdose-reversal drug naloxone is a critical part of our national strategy to stop the prescription drug and heroin overdose epidemic--along with effective prevention, treatment, and enforcement,” said Director of National Drug Control Policy, Michael Botticelli. “Thanks to efforts on naloxone like those announced today by CVS Health, more Americans will have access to this lifesaving drug.”

CVS Health has been committed to helping educate communities on drug abuse and find preventative measures to combat it.

In 2015, they launched a community outreach program called Pharmacists Teach. This program has local pharmacists come and speak in health classes on the dangers of drug abuse. Since its launch, more than 15,000 students have joined.

“CVS Health has been a leader in the work of preventing prescription drug abuse and ensuring safe disposal of unwanted medication that could otherwise be misused,” said President and CEO of Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, Marcia Lee Taylor. “Tackling drug abuse in our communities requires a committed coalition of community partners and we have been proud to partner with CVS Health on the Safer Communities program since 2014.”

The Drug-Free Kids for the Medication Disposal for Safer Communities Program provides safe and environmentally friendly ways to dispose of medication. The program has donated more than 500 drug disposal units to police departments across the country and has collected more than 28 metric tons of prescription drugs.