CVS Health has added seven states to its naloxone program, allowing consumers to access the drug without a prescription. By August, naloxone will be available behind the counter in CVS pharmacies in 30 states.
Chain drug stores nationwide have increased their efforts to address addiction with a variety of activities. The stores have expanded drug takeback and disposal sites, sent pharmacists into the community to educate students on the risk of addiction and enhanced addiction-related health information on their websites. CVS competitor Walgreens also has a naloxone program rolling out in 35 states this year.
Naloxone dispensing, the centerpiece of the drug stores’ efforts, is made possible when the organizations establish standing orders with physicians in respective states, which permits pharmacists to dispense the drug to consumers directly without individual prescriptions.
New states added to the CVS naloxone program include:
- New Mexico (May);
- Louisiana (June);
- Florida (July);
- Colorado (July);
- Idaho (July);
- Oregon (July); and
- Washington (August).
“By establishing a physician-authorized standing order that allows our pharmacies to dispense naloxone to patients without an individual prescription, we strengthen our commitment to helping the communities we serve begin to address the challenges of prescription drug abuse,” said Tom Davis, RPh, vice president of Pharmacy Professional Practices at CVS Pharmacy, in a statement.
Naloxone is already available without a prescription at CVS locations in: Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.