Walgreens now stocking Narcan as part of company plan to fight drug abuse

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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The company says the decision is part of its plan to combat drug abuse.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Walgreens is now stocking Narcan, an FDA-approved nasal form of naloxone, in all of its more than 8,000 pharmacies nationwide as part of the company's national plan to combat drug abuse, company officials said.

The medication, administered by nasal spray, can be used in the event of an overdose to reverse the effects of opioid drugs, which include some prescription painkillers and heroin.

There are as many as 86 Walgreens stores throughout Montgomery, Clark, Miami, Logan, Butler and Warren counties, as well as Northern Kentucky and southeastern Indiana.

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"By stocking Narcan in all our pharmacies, we are making it easier for families and caregivers to help their loved ones by having it on hand in case it is needed," Rick Gates, Walgreens group vice president of pharmacy, said in a prepared statement. "As a pharmacy we are committed to making Narcan more accessible in the communities we serve."

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Walgreens also is adopting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations by educating patients about Narcan when they are dispensed a controlled substance greater than 50 morphine milligram equivalents (MME) and may be at risk of accidental overdose.

Seamus Mulligan, chief executive officer of Adapt Pharma, the manufacturer of Narcan Nasal Spray, said, "This action is an important milestone and we applaud Walgreens initiatives to improve access to Narcan Nasal Spray in communities across the U.S. This effort, combined with the opportunity for patients and caregivers to obtain Narcan Nasal Spray without an individual prescription in 45 states, is critical in combating this crisis."

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To educate the public on use of naloxone, pharmaceutical wholesaler AmerisourceBergen has distributed Narcan demo devices at no cost to Walgreens pharmacists for use in instructing patients on how to administer the medication. Additional instructions include calling 911, as Narcan is not a substitute for medical care.

Anyone who is administered the medication should seek immediate medical attention.

Last year, Walgreens announced an effort to make naloxone available without requiring a prescription in states where regulations allow.

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A dose of Narcan. (Bill Lackey/Staff)

Credit: HANDOUT

A dose of Narcan. (Bill Lackey/Staff)

Credit: HANDOUT

Combined ShapeCaption
A dose of Narcan. (Bill Lackey/Staff)

Credit: HANDOUT

Credit: HANDOUT

The company now offers naloxone without requiring a prescription in 45 states and is eager and willing to work with the remaining states to make naloxone easier to obtain.

Walgreens has also collected more than 155 tons of unwanted medications through its safe medication disposal kiosks in 600 pharmacies across 45 states and Washingto,n D.C. The kiosks allow individuals to safely and conveniently dispose of unwanted prescriptions, including controlled substances and over-the-counter medications, year-round at no cost.

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