By April Toler
Naloxone, the opioid overdose reversal medication, can save lives, as reflected by the U.S. surgeon general’s recent advisory that Americans carry it and know how to use. But in Indiana, only one in four pharmacists have actually dispensed the medication, an Indiana University study found.
Researchers at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington’s Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention and the Institute for Research on Addictive Behavior, who received Indiana CTSI Project Development Team funding, investigated the role of Indiana community pharmacies in naloxone access and found that while 58 percent of pharmacies stocked naloxone and 48 percent of pharmacists were comfortable dispensing it, only 24 percent of pharmacists had actually dispensed the medication. The findings were recently published in the Drug and Alcohol Dependence journal.
“This data was surprising given Indiana’s 2016 statewide standing order allowing naloxone dispensing without an exam and the fact that a majority of pharmacists believed the order would increase both naloxone stocking and dispensing,” said Beth Meyerson, co-director of the Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention, who led the study.