Walgreens announced this week that it plans to stock all of its stores across the U.S. with Narcan as the nation's opioid epidemic reaches new levels.
The medication, which is administered via nasal spray and can be used to reverse the effects of opioid drugs like prescription painkillers and heroin, will be available in more than 8,000 pharmacies nationwide, the company said.
“By stocking Narcan in all our pharmacies, we are making it easier for families and caregivers to help their loved ones by having it on hand in case it is needed,” Rick Gates, Walgreens group vice president of pharmacy, said in a statement. “As a pharmacy we are committed to making Narcan more accessible in the communities we serve.”
President Donald Trump is expected to formally declare the opioid epidemic a national emergency this week.
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With an estimated 142 Americans dying every day from drug overdoses, more than 10,000 people have died in the weeks since the president first committed to the plan.
"This action is an important milestone and we applaud Walgreens initiatives to improve access to Narcan Nasal Spray in communities across the U.S.,” Seamus Mulligan, chief executive officer of Adapt Pharma, the manufacturer of Narcan Nasal Spray, said in a statement. “This effort, combined with the opportunity for patients and caregivers to obtain Narcan Nasal Spray without an individual prescription in 45 states, is critical in combating this crisis.”
Last year, Walgreens announced an effort to make naloxone available without a prescription in states where regulations allowed.