Beginning Monday, naloxone will be available without a prescription at 650 New York City pharmacies in an effort to curb opioid overdoses in the city.
Naloxone, a medication that can prevent death if administered during an opioid overdose, will now be available over-the-counter in Duane Reade and Walgreen stores, joining Rite Aid and CVS in making the drug more available to millions of New Yorkers, the mayor’s office said in a statement.
“We fully support increasing access to naloxone to help combat the ongoing public health risk of drug abuse. Duane Reade and Walgreens is pleased to dispense naloxone without requiring a prescription beginning February 1 in more than 450 drugstores in New York State, including all New York City stores,” said Anthony Riso, RPh, Regional Healthcare Director for Duane Reade, Walgreen Co. “While naloxone is currently available today to all of our pharmacies nationwide, we will continue to work with policy makers to increase access throughout the country.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio said opioid overdose is preventable – yet it continues to claim hundreds of lives in New York City.
“By making naloxone even more widely available we are literally saving lives and helping New Yorkers onto the path to recovery," he said.
Naloxone will also be available for free at community-based overdose prevention programs, the mayor’s office stated. Anyone who is at risk of an overdose or witnessing an overdose has been encouraged to obtain naloxone as a preventative measure.
“This commitment by CVS and Duane Reade will save lives in New York,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was quoted by the mayor’s office. "Heroin addiction is a scourge in our state that can only be tackled by using every tool at our disposal.”
New Yorkers should visit nyc.gov/health and search for “Prevent Overdose” to learn more about where to find naloxone, or they can call 311 to find a participating pharmacy.