Walgreen's has announced today that the nationwide chain will now stock Narcan, an FDA-approved nasal form of naloxone, in in all of its more than 8,000 pharmacies nationwide.
This decision is part of their comprehensive national plan to combat drug abuse.
Walgreens says 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.
"By stocking Narcan in all our pharmacies, we are making it easier for families and caregivers to help their loved ones by having it on hand in case it is needed," said Rick Gates, Walgreens group vice president of pharmacy. "As a pharmacy we are committed to making Narcan more accessible in the communities we serve."
Walgreens will also adopt Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations by educating 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.
"This action is an important milestone and we applaud Walgreens initiatives to improve access to Narcan Nasal Spray in communities across the U.S.," said Seamus Mulligan, Chief Executive Officer of Adapt Pharma, the manufacturer of Narcan Nasal Spray. "This effort, combined with the opportunity for patients and caregivers to obtain Narcan Nasal Spray without an individual prescription in 45 states, is critical in combating this crisis."
Last year, Walgreens said that they tried to make naloxone available without requiring a prescription in states where regulations allow. The company now offers naloxone without requiring a prescription in 45 states and is eager and willing to work with the remaining states to make naloxone easier to obtain.