CVS Health Introduces Prescription Free Naloxone
In line with its commitment for community service the biotech giant has made it overdose reversal drug available without prescription in a number of states.
The Woonsocket, Rhode Island biotech giant, CVS Health had disclosed its plan of creating the accessibility of naloxone –opioid overdose-reversal medication at eight new states in which its CVS Pharmacy are located by the end of March. The proposed states include Virginia, Vermont, Connecticut, Ohio, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Maryland.
Through this, the CVS Pharmacy will be entitled to make sales of the naloxone to the patients residing in the states without having them produce an individual prescription. This act is carried out under a physician approved protocol permitted by the state.
VP pharmacy professional practices at CVS Pharmacy, Tom Davis stated: "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." He further added: "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."
At CVS Pharmacy located in the following states, California, Utah, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island and Montana, naloxone is already being sold without prescription in compliance with collaborative practice agreements or standing order.
The $108 billion biotech giant has said that it looks forward to adding 20 states to its prescription free naloxone program in the year 2016 therefore the company is expected, throughout the remainder of the year, to announce the additional states.
National Drug Control Policy director Michael Botticelli said: "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." He added, "Thanks to efforts on naloxone like those announced today by CVS Health, more Americans will have access to this lifesaving drug."
The initiative of expanding the accessibility of the naloxone across the state is in line with the company’s commitment to aid the communities in circumventing the drug abuse through education, outreach and safe medication disposal. In 2015, a community outreach program dubbed Pharmacists Teach was launched by the company, whose initiative was to bring local pharmacists to high school health classes in order to educate the students about the perils of drug abuse. This program has been attended by more than 15,000 as yet.
Moreover, the biotech titan has joined alliance with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids for the Medication Disposal for Safer Communities Program, which has donated more than 500 drug disposal units to police departments around the country. Under this program, the community members will be ensured of environmentally friendly and secure way to dispose of unwanted medication. More than 28 metric tons of prescription drugs have already been collected. Moreover, through this program, the police departments may also apply to receive a drug collection unit.
"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. 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." Partnership for Drug-Free Kids President and CEO, Marcia Lee Taylor, expressed.