Pharmacies fall short on stocking naloxone despite anti-overdose initiatives

Despite increased anti-overdosing campaigns, a large portion of pharmacies are not up to date with stocking the over-the-counter opioid overdose antidote naloxone, according to STAT.

Here are four things to know:

1. A recent study published in JAMA said less than 25 percent of surveyed California pharmacies indicated customers could obtain naloxone over the counter, even though legislation passed in 2016 allowing customers to request naloxone without a prescription. About half of the pharmacies that indicated they would give naloxone actually had the nasal spray in stock.

2. A second study published in JAMA found 25 percent of pharmacies in Texas didn't stock naloxone. About 84 percent that did indicated they would give a customer naloxone without a prescription.

3. In another editorial published in JAMA, Michael Steinman, MD, physician and professor at University of California San Francisco, and Seth Landefeld, MD, physician and professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said the research mirrors a sense of "inertia" in healthcare.

"Improved training of pharmacists may be needed to make naloxone universally available for the prevention of opioid-related deaths," they wrote. "Such efforts will require resources, investment, and organizational support."

4. The published research also highlights reasons for the delayed rollout of naloxone programs across pharmacies, which include lack of awareness of the new policy, limitations in pharmacy training, and potential stigma against those who use and ask for naloxone.

More articles on clinical leadership and infection control:

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