Naloxone prescriptions took a dive during the pandemic
New research published in JAMA Network shows that nationwide naloxone prescriptions declined at the start of the pandemic and have yet to reach pre-pandemic levels.
Researchers examined claims data from community pharmacies, mail-order pharmacies, and specialty pharmacies from May 2019 to December 2020. They found a 26% reduction in naloxone prescriptions in March 2020, which did not noticeably rise afterward. Naloxone prescriptions for patients on Medicare and commercial insurance were lower compared with those on Medicaid or those who paid with cash.
Naloxone is typically prescribed with an opioid, but these prescriptions only fell by 9%, suggesting an obstacle to access, the study authors said.