CVS Adds NY to List of States It Will Sell Anti-Opioid Overdose Drug, Naloxone

CVS Adds NY to List of States It Will Sell Anti-Opioid Overdose Drug, Naloxone

CVS Pharmacy announced that it is adding the state of New York to a growing list of states where the pharmacy chain will sell the anti-opioid overdose drug, naloxone, without a prescription.  This brings the total number of states where the pharmacy chain sells naloxone without a prescription to 15.

The New York State Department of Health entered into an agreement with CVS on Thursday.

“Naloxone is a proven life-saver that counteracts the depression of the central nervous system and respiratory system, allowing an overdose victim to breathe normally,” State Health Commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker said in an announcement. “This agreement with CVS/pharmacy will help to save lives and hopefully get people on the road to recovery.”

“We support expanding Naloxone availability and we applaud the state of New York for its leadership in the fight against drug abuse and addiction,” said Tom Davis, Vice President of Pharmacy Professional Practices at CVS to

“Naloxone is a safe and effective antidote to opioid overdoses and by providing access to this medication in our pharmacies without a prescription in more states, we can help save lives,” Davis said in a September press release announcing the expansion of states from two to 12.

States where CVS currently sells naloxone (also known as Narcan) without a prescription include: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Arkansas, California, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin, and now New York.

CVS supports expanding naloxone availability in other states and is participating in a research project with Boston Medical Center and Rhode Island Hospital to study the effects of pharmacy-based naloxone rescue kits in reducing opioid addiction and overdose deaths.

Naloxone can be delivered through an injection, and now by nasal spray, as National Pain Report reported in November.

The drug blocks the effects of opioids, including prescription painkillers and heroin, which can cause someone who has overdosed to stop breathing. It can reverse an overdose within minutes and lasts about an hour, providing crucial time for medical professionals to treat the person.

Naloxone poses no danger to individuals who come into contact with it, and has no potential for being abused. It works only if a person has opioids in his or her system, and has no effect if opioids are absent.

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Authored by: Staff

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dave rosen

call every pain doc in or even out of your all details ex. mri, xray, proof from pharmacist that you have been taking meds. A real pain doc wont walk away from you


My primary care is cutting off my small amount of medicine as she had proof it doesn’t work. At my appointment yesterday she told me she has a patient who has a brain tumor and feels the same pain with or without meds. I then had to sign another pain contract, take drug test and basically be humiliated by her insinuating that I had no pain but “fear”. She is not a neurologist or specialist. She has no idea what CRPS is, nor does she care. My assignment is to take less of the tiny amount of meds I have and come back in 2 months to prove I can do it. I spent all day crying. I am in Massachusetts so I’m pretty much screwed. I used to be an attorney. I know that I will get worse, as I have been with no treatment. I don’t want to die, but I don’t want to stay in a bed, in my mother’s house in excruciating pain for 30 or more years. I would rather the disease kill me. It makes me sick that addicts are seen as heros. They choose to abuse meds. We didn’t choose to get sick. They get all the help in world and can get better. We are stigmatized and we can’t cure ourselves. I would be happy to sign a contract releasing all from liability if I abuse, start heroine and overdose. It’s my life and my body. Maybe they are just culling the herd. I also find it amazing that opiates ate “handed out like candy”. Where? This is a lie. What is handed out are anti-depressants. I was offered Prozac yesterday. What us going to happen to us?

IMO.. CVS is doing this for $$$… Naloxone is not a controlled substance and not under DEA oversight… so they can sell this stuff.. hand over fists.. How long before we start hearing about pharmacies being robbed for opiates together with Naloxone.. So the “street pushers” can sell their “super Heroin and naloxone” kit so that the addict can be push the envelope of how high they can get and be able to be pulled back from the brink… IMO.. all we are doing is creating a larger pool of “frequency high flyers”. For the last 100 yrs.. we have had a equilibrium of addicts dying off and new people becoming addicts … so that 1%-2% of the population that are serious abusers may well start to get larger…

Jeremy Goodwin, MS, MD

This article is dangerous. Risks vs benefits are not covered in a meaningful way at all. In addition to a lack of emphasis about naloxone’s short half life making it largely ineffective after around 45 minutes, following which the opioid may then still cause respiratory arrest, these are the potential side affects that can be induced when incorrectly used in emergency situations. The information is from the NIH government website:

“. In opioid-dependent patients, naloxone is used in the treatment of opioid-overdose-induced respiratory depression, in (ultra)rapid detoxification and in combination with buprenorphine for maintenance therapy (to prevent intravenous abuse). Risks related to naloxone use in opioid-dependent patients are: i) the induction of an acute withdrawal syndrome (the occurrence of vomiting and aspiration is potentially life threatening); ii) the effect of naloxone may wear off prematurely when used for treatment of opioid-induced respiratory depression; and iii) in patients treated for severe pain with an opioid, high-dose naloxone and/or rapidly infused naloxone may cause catecholamine release and consequently pulmonary edema and cardiac arrhythmias. These risks warrant the cautious use of naloxone and adequate monitoring of the cardiorespiratory status of the patient after naloxone administration where indicated.”

Kathryn B.

I agree with Scott. Drug adidas can now just walk into a drug store and without a script get OTC help for withdrawal when legit patients are given such a hard time, and it is sanctioned by the same governing body that denies us help. Why? It makes no sense at all.

When I moved back to my home from another state, I could not get even one drug store in the entire area to fill my pain scripts written by a reputable local physician. Every month I had to call the doctor’s nurse to help me find somewhere to get my Meds. Usually it was in another town and I had to drive some distance to get my script filled. Then, they would stop filling them after a couple of months and I would be looking again.

I was so stressed out by the end of a month, I would cry. Finally, my doctor’s office referred me to the manufacturer’s locator and they found a drug store about 10 minutes from my house. They were very nice at first, then “the looks and attitudes” began and I knew I’d be cut off before long. I was having panic attacks because my Meds were always delayed due to late deliveries and I would be out of my Meds for several days up to a week.

i finally had the Pain Pump implanted and the doctor handles the refills and adjustments. It is so much easier than struggling each month with scripts.

I am angry that our government will pander to those that may not need or want permanent help, yet leave those of us that suffer daily with chronic pain silently suffering with no voice in the way we’re being treated.

Scott michaels

Im sorry this is ridiculous. We have 20 million people that are stressed out every day because they are being threatened that their medication for chronic pain will be taken away. these are people that take their medication as directed, no chance for an overdose. Yet the system is catering to the junkies out there with a medication available if they do overdose. This is enabling drug addicts. they are saying dont worry keep abusing drugs, well give YOU a overdose cure. But the elderly, wounded warriors, and everybody else that is judged everytime they fill a prescription or see a doctor, can continue to suffer in pain.