Grocery store chain Kroger made news this week with its announcement of plans to begin selling anti-overdose drug Naloxone (also called Narcan) at store pharmacies. Naloxone will be available without a prescription.
The state of Ohio passed a law in 2015 allowing pharmacies to sell Naloxone without an accompanying prescription, and Kroger joins CVS in offering it in stores. A spokesperson for Kroger said that customers wishing to buy Naloxone must first taking a training class before completing the purchase.
This means that customers would need to complete the training and already have the drug on hand in order to prevent an overdose, rather than purchasing Naloxone at the moment it’s needed.
Naloxone became available at 84 Kroger pharmacies in the Cincinnati area starting Monday, February 15, according to WCPO. Over time, 216 Kroger locations in the state of Ohio will offer Naloxone without a prescription. Customers will pay between $80 and $90 for two doses of the drug, although most insurances companies will cover the cost, according to WKSU.
Ohio has one of the highest rates of overdose-related deaths in the United States, and hopes to address that by making Naloxone more readily available to those who need it.
According to the CDC, in 2014, Pennsylvania had the second most overdose-related deaths after Ohio, with 2,732. Ohio had 2,744. It may be only a matter of time before pharmacies and grocery stores in Pennsylvania adopt similar laws that make anti-overdose drugs more accessible.
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