DEERFIELD, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Walgreens is taking an important step to increase access to and education around naloxone by announcing that over-the-counter (OTC) NARCAN® Nasal Spray will be available at Walgreens stores and online as soon as Sept. 5, with nationwide availability on Sept. 7. This announcement follows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval earlier this year.
This lifesaving medication can be used in the event of an opioid overdose to temporarily reverse the effects of opioids. Naloxone counteracts life-threatening depression of the central nervous and respiratory systems, allowing overdose victims to breathe normally again.
“We are committed to educating and making it easier for all Americans to have this life-saving medicine available in their first aid kits in case of an emergency,” said Kevin Ban, M.D. executive vice president and Walgreens chief medical officer. “We all must recognize that overdoses can happen to anyone, regardless of age, background or other factors. As a leading healthcare company, providing access to OTC naloxone creates an opportunity for bystanders, friends and family members to potentially save a life. In the event of an overdose, every second matters.”
Naloxone should be administered as soon as someone shows signs of an opioid overdose and does not take the place of emergency medical care. It’s important to call 911 immediately.
OTC NARCAN® Nasal Spray will retail at Walgreens stores for $44.99.
To educate the public on how to use this lifesaving nasal spray, Walgreens is working with End Overdose, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending drug-related overdose deaths through education, medical intervention and public awareness.
Together, Walgreens and End Overdose have created an educational preparedness video that explains how an overdose can happen anywhere and affect anyone, how to recognize an overdose and how to respond with naloxone nasal spray. This video is available on Walgreens YouTube channel and walgreens.com/topic/pharmacy/naloxone.jsp.
“This community-first effort with Walgreens will hopefully empower everyone to feel comfortable carrying and administering naloxone nasal spray,” said Theo Krzywicki, CEO and founder of End Overdose. “Just as you might carry other first aid items, this can and should be something that is accessible to all.”
In addition to the awareness video, Walgreens is making a $100,000 donation to End Overdose to support its continuing efforts in educating the public on how to use this life-saving nasal spray and de-stigmatizing the conversation around overdose and substance use disorder.
As part of the company’s other ongoing efforts to address unsafe drug use, Walgreens offers a National Prescription Drug Take Back program. The program encourages the public to collect unwanted, unused or expired medications for safe disposal at no cost, year-round by visiting a Walgreens safe medication disposal kiosk during regular pharmacy hours. Kiosk locations can be found on walgreens.com via the store locator.
To learn more about Walgreens efforts and to watch the educational preparedness video, visit walgreens.com/topic/pharmacy/naloxone.jsp.
Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) is included in the U.S. Retail Pharmacy and U.S. Healthcare segments of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA), an integrated healthcare, pharmacy and retail leader with a 170-year heritage of caring for communities. WBA’s purpose is to create more joyful lives through better health. Operating nearly 9,000 retail locations across America, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Walgreens is proud to be a neighborhood health destination serving nearly 10 million customers each day. Walgreens pharmacists play a critical role in the U.S. healthcare system by providing a wide range of pharmacy and healthcare services, including those that drive equitable access to care for the nation’s medically underserved populations. To best meet the needs of customers and patients, Walgreens offers a true omnichannel experience, with fully integrated physical and digital platforms supported by the latest technology to deliver high-quality products and services in communities nationwide.
About End Overdose
End Overdose is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization working to end drug-related overdose deaths through education, medical intervention, and public awareness. We seek to increase accessibility and visibility of life saving treatments and medication nationwide.