CVS Pharmacy announced that it is adding the state of Ohio 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 more than a dozen.
White House National Drug Control Policy Director Michael Botticelli, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp joined CVS Health in making the announcement in a press conference.
“Naloxone is a safe and effective antidote to opioid overdoses and by expanding access to this medication in our Ohio pharmacies by the use of a physician’s standing order for patients without a prescription, we can help save lives,” said Tom Davis, RPh, Vice President of Pharmacy Professional Practices at CVS Pharmacy in a press release. “We support expanding naloxone availability and we applaud the State of Ohio for its leadership in the fight against drug abuse and addiction.”
“Today’s announcement builds on the commitment CVS Health made last October when President Obama announced new public and private sector actions to address prescription drug abuse and heroin use,” said Michael Botticelli, White House Director of National Drug Control Policy. “Expanding access to the lifesaving overdose-reversal drug naloxone is a critical part of our national strategy to stop the opioid overdose epidemic, along with effective enforcement, prevention, and treatment.”
“By making naloxone available at their stores without an individual prescription, CVS Pharmacies will be helping to put a life-saving tool in the hands of Ohioans who may have a family member or someone close to them suffering from an opiate addiction,” said Ohio Attorney General, Mike DeWine. “Many of our first responders carry naloxone, but having it available on a wider basis could get help to someone who is overdosing even more quickly.”
“By increasing access to the life-saving drug naloxone, we can help bring more people back from the grips of overdoses,” U.S. Senator Rob Portman added. “This marks an important step in our fight to combat addiction and I will continue to work for a bottom-up, comprehensive approach to the heroin epidemic.”
CVS’s move to increase access to naloxone in Ohio adds to more than a dozen states where naloxone is already available without a prescription at CVS, including: Arkansas, California, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah and Wisconsin.