Walgreens to sell anti-overdose drug without prescription this year

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – CVS stores in Tennessee have been selling Naloxone, an opiate overdose antidote, without a prescription. Now, Walgreens will also offer the lifesaving antidote without a prescription as well.

Walgreens spokesman Phil Caruso told News 2 the move is an effort to decrease the number of heroin overdose deaths.

“Our purpose is to help people and it really is living out our purpose; to champion everyone’s right to be happy and healthy, which is why we do want to make this lifesaving drug more reliably available across the country,” said Caruso.

Tennessee Walgreens will offer the medication within the year.

“You will still have to approach the pharmacy and speak to our pharmacist, get trained on how to use Naloxone safely and the steps to do so,” said Caruso.

Kroger will also make Naloxone available without a prescription in its pharmacies across Ohio and northern Kentucky. More than 200 Kroger grocery stores will offer the anti-overdose medication within days.

Kroger’s media spokesperson told News 2 the Tennessee Pharmacy Association is working with the legislature on a statewide protocol to sell Naloxone without a prescription in Tennessee.

The executive director of the Tennessee Pharmacy Association, Micah Cost told News 2 Monday the association supports making the anti-overdose medication easier to buy.

According to the Tennessee Department of Health, the number of heroin-related overdose deaths rose from 18 in 2009 to 147 in 2014.

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