CVS Pharmacy stores in South Carolina are now offering the opioid overdose reversal medicine naloxone.
The medication was already available at CVS without a prescription in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, but it has been expanded to 12 other states including South Carolina, according to a news release from the pharmacy chain.
“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,” Tom Davis, CVS’ vice president of pharmacy professional practices, said in the release.”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.
“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.”
CVS Health is currently 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 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.
Naloxone has been carried for years by emergency response teams and police departments, and can be administered via a shot or nasally. Family members and friends of known drug addicts were also eventually able to give patients who were overdosing on pain medications once arriving on scene to reverse the effects.
Information for this story was provided by CVS Pharmacy.