Walgreens announced on Tuesday that it will begin stocking noloxone, the FDA-approved nasal spray sold under the brand Narcan and used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, in all of its pharmacies nationwide. The pharmacy will also implement the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations to educate patients about Narcan.
“By stocking Narcan in all of 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 press release. “As a pharmacy we are committed to making Narcan more accessible in the communities we serve.”
The company has been offering naloxone without requiring a prescription in 45 states since last year, and has also implemented medication disposal kiosks in 600 pharmacies nationwide. It emphasized a willingness to work with the remaining states to make naloxone easier to obtain.
Many police departments and first responders across the country are now equipped with Narcan to use when responding to potential overdose calls. Overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999, with President Trump expected to declare the epidemic a nationwide public health emergency on Thursday.