Uninsured patients get easier access to overdose antidote
WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health has partnered with Adapt Pharma to make the opioid overdose-reversal nasal spray Narcan more affordable for uninsured patients at CVS Pharmacy stores.
CVS said Friday that patients buying Narcan Nasal Spray (naloxone HCl) without insurance will get a $35 discount coupon, lowering the out-of-pocket cost by nearly 25%. Under its naloxone program, CVS has set a standing order with physicians, permitting its pharmacists to dispense naloxone without a prescription.
“Having a ready-to-use dose of naloxone in a nasal spray device makes administration of this life-saving medication quick and easy for friends and families of loved ones struggling with addiction in an emergency overdose situation,” Tom Davis, vice president of pharmacy professional practices at CVS Health, said in a statement. “Through this partnership with Adapt Pharma, Narcan Nasal Spray will be more affordable for CVS Pharmacy patients who don’t have insurance. CVS Health is dedicated to helping communities address and prevent prescription drug abuse, which is why we have worked to increase access to the opioid overdose-reversal drug naloxone for patients.”
Narcan Nasal Spray comes in a box containing two units, each of which delivers a concentrated 4-mg dose of naloxone HCl in a 0.1-ml mist for immediate use.
“This partnership is an important milestone in increasing access to FDA-approved naloxone formulations across U.S. communities. We are encouraged by the progress marked by CVS Pharmacy’s decision to improve affordability of Narcan Nasal Spray, especially within states with standing orders, which allow patient access to this opioid overdose treatment without physician-written naloxone prescriptions,” stated Seamus Mulligan, chairman and chief executive offcer of Adapt Pharma, maker of the medication. “Narcan Nasal Spray was designed with communities in mind, specifically breaking down barriers to a medication that has been proven, intuitive and ready-to-use by those most likely to encounter an overdose emergency, the friends, loved ones and caregivers of patients susceptible to opioid-related overdose.
“Now these community members will be able to access the first and only FDA-approved, ready-to-use nasal spray version of naloxone in thousands of CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide,” Mulligan noted.
By establishing physician’s standing orders or collaborative practice agreement, CVS has eliminated the need for patients to get a prescription for naloxone in 31 states. Earlier this week, CVS made naloxone available without a prescription at all of its approximately 750 CVS Pharmacy locations in Texas. CVS Health has established a standing order with doctors in Texas that allows its pharmacies to provide naloxone without a script.
CVS said that by August it will have made naloxone available without a prescription at its drug stores in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Virginia and Vermont.