CVS Health Corp (NYSE:CVS) has announced that naxolone, a medication used to reverse opioid overdose, will be made available without a prescription in all its outlets in the state of Kansas following a regulatory protocol that is applicable statewide. This will include CVS Health outlets which are located inside the stores of Target.
“Naloxone is a safe and effective antidote to opioid overdoses and by expanding access to this medication in our pharmacies in Kansas we can help save lives,” said CVS Pharmacy’s Pharmacy Professional Services vice president, Tom Davis.
According to the attorney general of Kansas, Derek Schmidt, the new law in the state which allows opioid antagonist medications to be sold prescription-free will lead to the saving of lives but it will only work if pharmacies cooperate. Schmidt applauded CVS for its efforts as he said emergency opioid antagonists could be dispensed to bystanders, school nurses, first responder agencies and patients in the absence of a prescription. The legislation allowing opioid antagonists to be made available prescription-free was developed with the assistance of a multi-professional workgroup.
Dan Hawkins, a state representative, thanked both senate and house health committees for giving priority to the legislation earlier in the year. Besides Kansas there are 43 other states where naxolone is sold prescription-free by CVS Pharmacy.
Since opioid abuse and overdose became an epidemic in the United States, CVS Health has introduced various measures aimed at assisting communities in addressing and preventing the abuse of prescription drugs by placing the focus on prevention as well as safe disposal of medication.
Two years ago a community outreach initiative known as Pharmacists Teach was launched by CVS Health. The program takes pharmacists who work at CVS to local schools where they can address students on the dangers resulting from drug abuse. Approximately over 275,000 students all over the United States have participated in the initiative. Additionally, CVS Health has joined hands with Partnership for Drug-Free Kids with a view to donating prescription drug disposal units to various local police departments.
On Tuesday shares of CVS Health Corp increased by 3.4% to close the day at $82.43.