Pharmacists prescribe naloxone to prevent overdose deaths

In many states, pharmacists are now being granted the authority to identify patients at high risk for opioid overdose and to prescribe naloxone rescue kits. In New Mexico, where protocols for naloxone were developed in 2013, pharmacists have been dispensing kits to assist those who need them.

In many states, pharmacists are now being granted the authority to identify patients at high risk for opioid overdose and to prescribe naloxone rescue kits. In New Mexico, where protocols for naloxone were developed in 2013, pharmacists have been dispensing kits to assist those who need them. Amy Bachyrycz, of the University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy in Albuquerque, presented an analysis of the state's program at the American College of Clinical Pharmacy 2015 Global Conference. Bachyrycz asked for participating pharmacists to complete a report with prescriptions. A total of 161 kits were dispensed in Bernalillo County alone. The most frequent reason cited for dispensing a kit was a request from a patient or from family or friends of a person suspected of abusing opioids. In 24 of New Mexico's 33 counties, pharmacists dispensed no kits, however. "The next step is a pharmacist perception survey," Bachyrycz reported. "They may think doing it encourages people to overdose, but there is no evidence of that."