“We support Surgeon General Adams’s advisory on the importance of naloxone and efforts to make this life-saving medication easier for families and caregivers to have available should it be needed,” Ashworth said.
“As a pharmacy and as part of our overall efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, we are committed to making naloxone easier to obtain and have taken a number of steps to help curb the rise in overdose deaths,” he added.
He said those steps include:
• Walgreens stocks Adapt Pharma’s Narcan, an FDA-approved nasal form of naloxone, in all of its more than 8,000 pharmacies nationwide. The medication, administered by nasal spray, can be used in the event of an overdose to reverse the effects of opioid drugs, which include some prescription painkillers and heroin. Walgreens pharmacists provide training and instructional handouts on how administer the medication. Additional instructions include calling 911, as naloxone is not a substitute for medical care. Anyone who is administered the medication should seek immediate medical attention.
• In addition, Walgreens has adopted Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations to educate patients about Narcan when they are dispensed a controlled substance greater than 50 morphine milligram equivalents (MME) and may be at risk of accidental overdose.
•Walgreens has worked over the last two years to make naloxone available without requiring a prescription in states where regulations allow. The company now offers naloxone without requiring a prescription in 46 states and continues to work to make the medication easier to obtain in the remaining states.
• Walgreens also has collected more than 155 tons of unwanted medications through its safe medication disposal kiosks in 600 pharmacies across 45 states and Washington D.C. The company is working with other health care organizations to expand the kiosks to an additional 900 Walgreens pharmacies. These kiosks allow individuals to safely and conveniently dispose of unwanted prescriptions, including controlled substances and over-the-counter medications, year-round at no cost. By removing these medications from the home, individuals can ensure medications are not accidentally used or intentionally misused by someone else.