BOISE, Idaho, Feb. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- More than half of the states in which Albertsons Companies operates have taken action to halt the rise in opioid-related deaths by passing legislation to allow pharmacies to dispense the opioid antagonist naloxone without a prescription. To best serve our communities, Albertsons Companies has specially trained nearly 3,000 pharmacists to administer the FDA-approved NARCAN® Nasal Spray and counsel patients on the use of this medication.
Albertsons Companies' pharmacies under the banners ACME, Albertsons, Albertsons Market, Carrs, Pavilions, Randalls, Safeway, Shaw's, Tom Thumb and Vons can currently dispense NARCAN® in Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 78 Americans die every day from opioid overdoses. Due to this growing epidemic across the nation, many states have approved the sale of naloxone without a prescription, removing a barrier for those who may need the drug for themselves or a loved one. NARCAN® Nasal Spray, the treatment provided at Albertsons Companies' pharmacies, is the first and only FDA-approved naloxone nasal spray for the emergency treatment of a known or suspected opioid overdose, including synthetic opioid painkiller-fentanyl-, carfentanil- and heroin-related overdose. According to Adapt Pharma, the manufacturer of NARCAN® Nasal Spray, the drug is a concentrated naloxone nasal spray that "competes with opioids to bind with the same receptors in the brain. Usually, it reverses the effects of opioid overdose in two to three minutes. This buys the opioid-poisoned person time for emergency medical help to arrive."
The naloxone dispensing procedures are specifically designed to not only help save lives in the event of an overdose, but to aid in the patient's recovery so he or she can then seek medical treatment or drug counseling. Administration of the medication includes a private consultation with the pharmacist to determine the patient's eligibility, with consultation on NARCAN® expectations and explanation of the adverse event safety profile, and in some cases, notification to the patient's primary care provider.
Said David C. Humes, a member of the board of directors for the national non-profit atTAcK addiction and volunteer with the national non-profit Shatterproof, "An accidental heroin overdose ended my son Greg Humes' time on earth on May 19, 2012, months shy of his 25th birthday. I can't reverse the events that took place to bring Greg back, but I can encourage others to arm themselves with tools that can save future lives. If you know anyone who is struggling with opioids like prescription pain killers or heroin, they may be susceptible to an overdose. Having the opioid overdose reversal medication – naloxone — around can be critical in saving the life of that loved one."
The pharmacy teams at Albertsons Companies stores are committed to the health and wellness of their patients. By being at the forefront of the opioid epidemic, pharmacists can do their part in reducing opioid-related deaths, in addition to educating the public on medication and services available at the pharmacy.
"The research on naloxone as an emergency treatment for opioid overdoses is proven. With our teams in place as a resource for this medication, we are keeping with our commitment to serve and improve the health and wellness of all our customers while also making our communities stronger," said Mark Panzer, Albertsons Companies Senior Vice President of Pharmacy Health and Wellness.
About Albertsons Companies
Albertsons Companies is one of the largest food and drug retailers in the United States, with both a strong local presence and national scale. We operate stores across 35 states and the District of Columbia under 19 well-known banners including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen and Carrs. Albertsons Companies is committed to helping people across the country live better lives by making a meaningful difference, neighborhood by neighborhood. In 2016 alone, along with the Albertsons Companies Foundation, the company gave nearly $300 million in food and financial support. These efforts helped millions of people in the areas of hunger relief, education, cancer research and treatment, programs for people with disabilities and veterans outreach.
Contact: Jennifer Rapley
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/albertsons-companies-pharmacists-help-reduce-us-opioid-overdoses-in-their-communities-with-narcan-nasal-spray-300412297.html
SOURCE Albertsons Companies