Pharmacists can now dispense naloxone without a Rx
Ohio pharmacists can now dispense the overdose reversal drug naloxone without a prescription thanks to a newly adopted state law. HB 4 (Sprague and Rezabek), signed into law today by Governor Kasich, authorizes a pharmacist or pharmacy intern to dispense naloxone without a prescription in accordance with a physician-approved protocol.
Since 1999, drug overdoses have taken the lives of more than 13,000 Ohioans. These deaths are largely attributable to the abuse of opioids, a class of drug that includes both prescription pain relievers and heroin. When administered during an opioid overdose, naloxone blocks the effects of opioids on the brain and effectively reverses an overdose.
“Naloxone is a safe and effective tool in the fight against drug overdose” says State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy Executive Director Steven W. Schierholt. “Ohio pharmacists are encouraged to offer this important service in their communities.”
To assist pharmacies that are interested in dispensing naloxone pursuant to a protocol, the Board has developed a dedicated web page, www.pharmacy.ohio.gov/naloxone, which features a number of helpful resources, including a guidance document and sample protocol. In addition, the Board is offering printed no-cost patient educational materials to any participating pharmacy.