NY expands heroin antidote program to independent pharmacies

A CVS pharmacy. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York health officials say independent pharmacies across the state now can provide the heroin overdose antidote naloxone to customers without a prescription.

The Health Department provides funding to Harm Reduction Coalition, a registered prevention program which will issue standing medical orders to the more than 750 independent pharmacies outside New York City, as well as chain pharmacies without a designated prescriber.

The department earlier this year approved more than 480 CVS pharmacies and 460 Walgreens and Duane Read pharmacies as registered opioid overdose prevention programs, enabling their pharmacists to dispense naloxone without a prescription.

When administered by injection or nasal spray, naloxone temporarily blocks the effects of opioids.

According to health officials, independent pharmacies wanting to participate should email naloxone@harmreduction.org.

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