DE Public Health CVS Makes Narcan Available Without Prescription - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. Public Health and CVS Making Narcan Available Without Prescription

Posted: 11/09/2017 12:03:00 -05:00 Updated:

DOVER, Del.- The Delaware Division of Public Health and CVS Health are now making the opioid overdose-reversal medication naloxone available without an individual prescription at all 20 CVS Pharmacy locations in the state.

CVS pharmacists, including those working in CVS pharmacies inside Target stores, will now be able to dispense naloxone to patients through the order.

In July, Gov. John Carney signed Senate Bill 48, expanding community access to naloxone by protecting pharmacists with the same legal protections as doctors and peace officers.

Statewide pharmacists will no longer face the potential of legal, criminal or disciplinary actions due to injuries or death suffered in connection with dispensing the drug, according to health officials. 

“By making naloxone available to the public without a prescription, CVS Health has taken an important step in helping us combat the opioid epidemic here in Delaware,” said Carney said. “Naloxone can give people a second chance to get medical care and be connected to resources to treat their addiction. We greatly appreciate their partnership.”

DPH says it hopes by making naloxone more accessible, in combination with granting pharmacists permission to dispense naloxone nasal spray, those at risk of an overdose will have a better chance at life.

Overdose deaths in Delaware climbed from 172 in 2012 to 228 in 2015, and then spiked to 308 deaths in 2016. There have been approximately 190 suspected drug overdose deaths to date in 2017.  First responders administered the life-saving medication naloxone more than 1,535 times in all of 2016 and 1,280 times in the first half of 2017. 

“Addiction is a chronic disease,” said Dr. Kara Odom Walker, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services. “As we expand access, we also need to connect Delawareans suffering from addiction to comprehensive and person-centered treatment services so they can begin their recovery.”

Last month, Walgreens announced it would be stocking the overdose-antidote in all of its 8,000 locations nationwide.

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