WOONSOCKET, R.I., Sept. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) announced today that the opioid overdose-reversal medication naloxone is now available for patients without a prescription at all CVS Pharmacy locations in Washington. Under a collaborative agreement with a physician in the state, CVS pharmacists can exercise prescriptive authority to dispense the medication. In addition to Washington, CVS Pharmacy locations in 30 other states are able to dispense naloxone to patients without an individual prescription. The company's move to increase access to naloxone builds on its other efforts to reduce drug abuse, including prevention education and safe drug disposal.
"Naloxone is a safe and effective antidote to opioid overdoses and by expanding access to this medication in our Washington pharmacies for patients without a prescription, we can help save lives," said Tom Davis, RPh, Vice President of Pharmacy Professional Practices at CVS Pharmacy. "We are dedicated to helping the communities we serve address and prevent drug abuse and we are expanding access to naloxone to give more people a chance to get the help they need for recovery."
"The impact of drug abuse has been felt by our families and friends across the state of Washington. It is a crisis that impacts people of every age, income level and race and involves prescription medications and illegal drugs," Governor Jay Inslee said. "I commend CVS for making the lifesaving opioid overdose reversal drug Naloxone available directly from a pharmacist, and for providing safe disposal options for unwanted medications. To address this epidemic we need the public and private sector working together on options such as this for our communities. Please visit www.stopoverdose.org to learn how to prevent and respond to an opioid overdose."
Efforts to increase access to naloxone build on CVS Health's longstanding commitment to helping communities address and prevent drug abuse. CVS Health has joined with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids to create the Medication Disposal for Safer Communities Program, which donates disposal units to local police departments, providing a safe and environmentally friendly way to dispose of unwanted medication. Law enforcement officials across Washington can apply to receive a drug collection unit here.
In 2015, CVS Health launched a community outreach program called Pharmacists Teach, which brings local pharmacists to high school health classes to talk to students about the dangers of drug abuse. More than 100,000 students have already taken part in the program. High school teachers and administrators in Washington can learn more about bringing Pharmacists Teach to their school here.
And, CVS Health has launched digital resources online at www.cvs.com/content/prescription-drug-abuse, giving patients and families a single destination to learn more about drug abuse prevention.
About CVS Health
CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its more than 9,600 retail pharmacies, more than 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with nearly 80 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, the Company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable and effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at https://www.cvshealth.com.
Erin Shields Britt
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SOURCE CVS Health