Patients will now have more access to the opioid overdose-reversal drug naloxone as drugstore chain CVS Health Corp announced that it will extend the access in seven more states this summer.
It means that the company’s program will be expanded in 30 states by August and will continue the activity against the opioid epidemic. Patients will no longer need a prescription in order to have access to the life-saving drug.
According to CVS Health, a standing order with a physician in the state will be established by the naloxone program to permit CVS pharmacists to give naloxone to patients without a prescription. The purpose of the naloxone use is to reverse opioid and heroin overdoses.
The naloxone program relies on CVS Health’s promise to help communities prevent and address drug abuse through medication disposal, outreach and education.
Plus, Pharmacists Teach, a community outreach program has been developed. This program sends local pharmacists to high school health classes to discuss with students about the consequences of drug abuse.
According to the Director of National Drug Control Policy, Michael Botticelli, it is crucial to extend access to the overdose-reversal drug naloxone to stop the prescription heroin and drug overdose epidemic and promote enforcement, treatment, and prevention throughout the U.S instead.
Walgreens has already made naloxone available in Pennsylvania beginning from April as a way to tackle the heroin overdoses. In spite of strong legislation, drug overdose abuses have been a problem in the U.S. for a long time already.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 47,055 drug overdose deaths were registered in 2014. Plus, starting from 2011, the mortality rate has increased by 2.8 percent until 2014.
At the beginning of March, this U.S. epidemic has led to a lot of discussions and procedures in the Senate. The bill to address the prescription was called the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) and would authorize the Attorney General to give grants to address the national epidemics of heroin used and prescription opioid abuse.
Hopefully, this new measure will make people more aware of this problem. In addition to this, the drug abuse will not be regarded anymore as an epidemic, and the heroin and opioid overdose will be history.