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    Rite Aid, Albertsons Expand Naloxone Access

    Increased access to the drug could save lives.

    Rite Aid and Albertsons are the latest pharmacy chains to expand access to naloxone without a prescription in accordance with each state’s pharmacy regulations

    Rite Aid said that it has trained more than 10,000 pharmacists on naloxone, and expanded its program to 630 of its pharmacies. The chain said that naloxone is available without an individual script in Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

    Related article: Naloxone: Liability, regulatory concerns for pharmacists

    Albertsons Companies has trained nearly 3,000 pharmacists to dispense NARCAN® Nasal Spray and counsel patients on its use. About 1,300 Albertsons Companies pharmacists are able to prescribe Narcan without a prescription in Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.

    Walgreens also recently said it extended the availability of naloxone to Mississippi, Missouri, and Washington, D.C. Now, naloxone is available without a script at 5,800 Walgreens stores in 33 states, plus the District of Columbia.

    Likewise, CVS Health now provides the life-saving treatment to counter opioid overdoses without a script in 37 states.

    Related article: Pharmacists should get training in naloxone use now

    "As the epidemic continues to grow, as evidenced in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recent statistic, 91 people die every day from an opioid overdose in the United States," said Jocelyn Konrad, Rite Aid Executive Vice President of Pharmacy. "With the ability to dispense naloxone without a prescription in more than 20 states, Rite Aid is not only showing its commitment to increasing customer access to this potentially lifesaving medication, but we are also raising awareness and helping fight drug abuse in the communities we serve."

    Dispensing the medication “includes a private consultation with the pharmacist to determine the patient's eligibility, with consultation on Narcan expectations and explanation of the adverse event safety profile, and in some cases, notification to the patient's primary care provider,” Albertsons said in a statement.

    Christine Blank
    Contributing Editor Christine Blank is a freelance writer based in Florida.

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