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Thousands Of Ohio Pharmacies Now Offer Naloxone Without Prescriptions

Naloxone is now available without a prescription in more than half of retail pharmacies in Ohio.

More than 1,340 pharmacies across Ohio are now able to distribute Naloxone - a drug that can reverse a heroin overdose - without a prescription. The change is thanks to a law enacted in 2015 by Governor John Kasich.

U.S. cities like Baltimore have made similar changes to make the drug easily accessible, part of a larger effort to avoid fatal overdoses.

Cameron McNamee from the Ohio Board of Pharmacy says this service is meant for at-risk opioid users or for someone who can intervene in the event of an overdose.

"The friends and family members and other individuals who may have a loved one who is suffering from addiction," McNamee says. "Some way to keep them alive long enough for them to get into treatment."

McNamee says these individuals still have to pay for the drug, but can use their insurance if it's covered in their policy. Without insurance, Naloxone can cost between $80 and $100.

In Columbus, Equitas Health Pharmacy says they've been able to distribute significantly more doses of Narcan or Naloxone - nearly 1,000 since the start of 2016.