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CVS expands availability of opioid overdose remedy

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WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS/pharmacy is reinforcing its long-standing commitment in the fight against the nationwide epidemic of prescription drug abuse.

The retailer has expanded the availability of the opioid overdose reversal medicine, naloxone, in several states. The medication was already available at CVS/pharmacy without a prescription in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Naloxone is now available without a prescription at CVS/pharmacy locations in Arkansas, California, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and Wisconsin.

“Over 44,000 people die from accidental drug overdoses every year in the United States, and most of those deaths are from opioids, including controlled substance pain medication and illegal drugs such as heroin. 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,” said Tom Davis, vice president of pharmacy professional practices at CVS/pharmacy. “While all 7,800 CVS/pharmacy stores nationwide can continue to order and dispense naloxone when a prescription is presented, we support expanding naloxone availability without a prescription and are reviewing opportunities to do so in other states.”

In addition, CVS Health is participating in a research project with Boston Medical Center and Rhode Island Hospital to support a demonstration project of pharmacy-based naloxone rescue kits to help reduce opioid addiction and overdose deaths.

CVS/pharmacy has also renewed its Medication Disposal for Safer Communities Program, in which it has teamed up with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids to donate drug collection units to police departments around the country to help their communities safely dispose of unwanted medications, including controlled substances.

“Our Safer Communities program has donated more than 400 drug collection units to local law enforcement around the country since last year, resulting in almost seven tons of unused medication being collected,’’ said Davis. “We are pleased to continue this program with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and provide a permanent drug disposal solution at local police ­departments.”


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