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Aug 16 2016

Expanded access to overdose “rescue” drug

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A new state law signed in June by Gov. Pat McCrory authorizes NC’s State Health Director to issue a statewide standing order for the opioid overdosereversal medication naloxone, clearing the way for pharmacies in the state to provide the drug without a prescription.

The law allows pharmacies to provide naloxone to opioid users and/or family members of opioid users. Previously, the medication could be dispensed only with a prescription or with a standing order issued by a physician. Session Law 2016-17 took effect June 20.

North Carolina is the third state in the country to issue a statewide standing prescription order for naloxone.

Naloxone prevents opioid overdose by blocking the brain’s opioid receptors. This averts respiratory depression, which is the typical cause of death in cases of opioid overdose. Naloxone is harmless to people who are not experiencing opioid overdose.

 Comments on this article:

I commend Governor McCrory’s authorization of legislation to safeguard opioid users State wide. Sadly, the cost of the Naloxone auto-injectors is quite high, and out of reach for most patient’s in pain. If they can’t afford it overdoses will occur without the available protection. NC and NCMB should be encouraged to force cost containment on Naloxone with Pharma companies that produce it to make the Governor’s plan a reality.

By Keith A. Raymond, MD on Aug 28, 2016 at 5:29am
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