CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A study conducted by researchers from the University of Cincinnati shows that prescriptions of the overdose-fighting medicine naloxone increased by 2,328% in Ohio over the past five years.
The data was analyzed since 2015 when Ohio legislators approved a law allowing pharmacists to dispense naloxone without an actual prescription.
“Our study shows that this change in the Ohio law allowed pharmacists to have more opportunity to participate in the management of patients addicted to opioids,” says the leading researcher Pam Heaton, a professor of pharmacy practice at UC’s Winkle College.
Naloxone, or Narcan, is used to fight the effects of an overdose from drugs like heroin and other opioids.
As of May 2019, approximately 75% of Ohio pharmacies were registered to dispense naloxone to an individual without a prescription personal use, on a family member or friend.
“Overdoses are not a planned event so during an emergency is not the time to try and access naloxone," added Heaton. “The intent is for any adult to be able to go to a pharmacy and purchase naloxone for themselves or for anybody who might need it, so they are adequately prepared to administer a lifesaving medication.”