INDIANAPOLIS -- State health officials, law enforcement and legislators all praise what’s sometimes referred to as the miraculous effects of the overdose prevention drug called naloxone. But, many pharmacies aren’t stocking the drug.
The General Assembly passed legislation earlier this year allowing anyone to obtain naloxone with a doctor’s prescription. Yet most pharmacies don’t carry it – the State Health Department’s website tracking providers lists only four. The Indiana Pharmacists Alliance says only two or three dozen pharmacies stock the drug. State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams says Indiana has been working with federal partners and state organizations to spread awareness about the drug’s benefits.
“But really, I think it’s grassroots," Adams said. "It’s really people sharing their stories about how a life was saved with naloxone.”
Pharmacists Alliance Executive Vice President Randy Hitchens says his organization has been aggressive in sharing information about the drug, but says it’s a very new idea for many pharmacists.
“I mean, this is similar to even needle exchange," Hitchens said. "That, too, is using needles in a new way where in the past pharmacies have been very protective to make sure a product like that was being used by diabetics or the like.”
Hitchens says the Alliance is considering legislation next session that would allow pharmacists to prescribe the drug, rather than just doctors.