Skip 
Navigation Link
Drug Addiction
Resources
Basic InformationLatest News
Use of Club Drug 'Special K' Could Be UnderreportedU.S. Heroin Use Nearly Doubled Over Two DecadesFamily Members Are Swiping Hospice Patients' Painkillers: StudyWhat's the Best Way to Administer the Opioid OD Antidote?When Pharmacists Allowed to Give Anti-Opioid Med Without Rx, Access SoarsJust 1% of Doctors Prescribe Nearly Half of Opioids in U.S.Could You Save a Life From Opioid Overdose?Opioid Addiction Med Under-Used in Younger People, Study FindsSimple Tweak to Hospital Computer Program Cuts Opioid PrescriptionsJust 2% of Patients Who Need It Get Anti-Opioid Drug NaloxoneU.S. Drug Deaths Might Be Twice as High as ThoughtCan Pot Bring on Psychosis in Young Users? It May Be Happening, Experts SayObamacare May Have Prevented Many Opioid-Related DeathsOne Big Roadblock to Opioid Addiction TreatmentU.S. Saw Big Rise in Meth, Fentanyl Use in 2019Don't Believe Online Claims for Pot's 'Benefits'Opioid-Meth Habit Particularly Hard to Break12 Million Americans Drove While Stoned Last YearWhere Pot Is Legal, People Are Likely to Believe Its BenefitsOpioids May Not Be to Blame for Rise in U.S. SuicidesPeople With Depression Are Turning to Pot for Relief: StudyYoung Adults With ADHD More Vulnerable to NicotineOpioid-Addicted Babies Cost U.S. More Than $500 Million AnnuallyMany Young Adults Misusing Medical Marijuana, Study SuggestsFewer Americans Now Struggle With 'Problem' Pot Use'Cannabis Use Disorder' Up in States That Legalized Recreational PotOne Region Is Being Hit Hardest by U.S. Opioid CrisisHealth Tip: Medication and Substance Abuse RecoveryBeating Opioid Addiction Can Be Tough, Here's What HelpsComing Soon: A 'Pot Breathalyzer'?U.S. Opioid Deaths Take a Small Dip, as Fentanyl Leaves Deadly MarkOxyContin Maker Purdue Offering Up to $12 Billion to Settle Opioid Claims'Synthetic Pot' Laced With Rat Poison Lands People in the ERJudge Orders Johnson & Johnson to Pay $572 Million Over Opioid Drug CrisisAmerica Has a Huge -- and Very Costly -- Drug HabitAll U.S. Adults Should Be Screened for Illicit Drug Use, National Panel UrgesLethal Deception: Deaths From Cocaine Laced With Fentanyl on the RiseMany Young Americans Regret Online Posts Made While HighToo Few U.S. Opioid Users Are Getting OD AntidoteDrug Experimentation and Summer a Dangerous DuoMedical Marijuana Won't Help Ease Opioid Crisis: StudyOpioid Epidemic Doubled Number of U.S. Kids Sent to Foster CareKeep Unused Meds Out of the Hands of AddictsFDA Warns Two Kratom Marketers About False ClaimsFatal Opioid ODs Rise as Temperatures FallDrug ODs, Suicides Soaring Among Millennials: ReportLegalizing Medical Pot Won't Ease Opioid Crisis: StudyDrugstores Often Don't Have Opioid Antidote in Stock, Philly Study Shows'Secret Shopper' Study Finds Many Who Need Addiction Treatment Can't Get ItHealth Tip: Naloxone Fast Facts
Links
Related Topics

Drugstores Often Don't Have Opioid Antidote in Stock, Philly Study Shows

HealthDay News
by -- Steven Reinberg
Updated: Jun 7th 2019

new article illustration

FRIDAY, June 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Even though the drug naloxone can be a lifesaving antidote to an opioid overdose, researchers in Philadelphia report that only a third of drugstores in that city carried it.

What's more, although Pennsylvania's standing order law for naloxone (common brand name: Narcan) allows pharmacists to dispense the drug without a doctor's prescription, many pharmacies refused to give the nasal spray without a doctors' OK, the study authors said.

The intent of the law was to encourage pharmacists to give the drug to anyone who asked for it. The impetus for the law was to try to curb the growing number of deaths from opioid overdoses.

Not implementing these laws puts unnecessary barriers in the way of those who need this medicine most, said study co-author Dima Qato, an associate professor of pharmacy systems, outcomes and policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy.

"Efforts to strengthen the implementation of naloxone access laws, including statewide standing orders, which are considered the least restrictive, are warranted," Qato said in a university news release. "Particularly for pharmacies located in communities with the highest rates of death due to opioid overdose."

For the study, researchers surveyed Philadelphia drugstores by phone in 2017.

Of the more than 400 drugstores surveyed, only 34% had naloxone available. Chain pharmacies were more likely to stock it than independent ones.

Naloxone was also less likely to be found in minority neighborhoods than in white neighborhoods. It was also not likely to be found in areas with the highest number of drug overdose deaths, the researchers noted.

In addition, of those stores that did stock naloxone, 40% asked for a doctor's prescription and many would not give the drug to those under 18.

Laws are not enough, according to Qato. "Policies need to be enforced and pharmacies need to be aware of and held accountable for implementing them," she said.

A new law now requires pharmacies to "stock naloxone and to post a sign notifying shoppers that it is stocked," said researcher Jenny Guadamuz, also from the University of Illinois.

"Pharmacies can be fined $250 for each day they are not in compliance of the law. Now, the question is, will the city enforce the law?" Guadamuz said.

The report was published online June 7 in the journal JAMA Network Open.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse has more information on naloxone.