Walgreens announced this week that it will start selling a nasal spray form of the drug naloxone, which can reverse the effects of opioids in the event of an overdose, without a prescription at all of its pharmacies across the country.
Narcan, the nasal spray from of nalaxone, will be stocked at all of the more than 8,000 Walgreens pharmacies in the United States, the company said. Walgreens also plans to educate patients about Narcan, including how to administer the drug. The move came as the opioid epidemic continues to grow, and shortly before President Donald Trump formally declared it a public health emergency on Thursday morning. More than 52,000 people died due to drug overdoses in the United States last year, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
“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, the CEO of Adapt Pharma, which manufactures Narcan, said in a statement released by Walgreens. “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.”