CVS Health Corp (NYSE:CVS) has announced that patients in four more states who don’t have an individual prescription will be allowed to get naloxone, a reversal drug for opioid overdose. The States that have been added on the list include South Carolina, Iowa, Georgia and Arizona. This now brings the total number of states where access to naxolone has been expanded at CVS Pharmacy sites to 41.
“CVS Health is committed to addressing and preventing opioid abuse in the communities we serve and increasing access to this life-saving medication is an important part of that commitment,” CVS Pharmacy’s senior executive, Tom Davis said.
The CDC – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that in 2015 over 33,000 deaths were caused by opioids. While some of these deaths could have been prevented by naxolone, a survey that was recently conducted by Morning Consult in conjunction with CVS Health Corp (NYSE:CVS) revealed that there is low awareness of the reversal drug, as less than half of the respondents were aware of the life-saving drug. Awareness levels were lowest in the southern and western regions of the country while they were high in the northeast and the Midwest.
The decision by CVS Health Corp (NYSE:CVS) to increase access to naxolone is motivated by the fact that the drug retailer has long remained committed to fighting abuse of prescription drugs. CVS Health has conducted community health education campaigns for youth on the matter, as well as providing resources on its website. Through a program known as Pharmacists Teach, pharmacists working for CVS Health have been able to reach over 200,000 high school students all over the United States and counseled them on drug abuse prevention.
Additionally, CVS Health is involved in various efforts aimed at encouraging Americans to properly dispose of medical drugs in order to prevent their abuse or misuse. This is through the company’s program known as Medication Disposal for Safer Communities. The program has also seen local police departments get over 600 disposal units which have helped collect unwanted medication weighing over 70 tons.
On Thursday CVS Health Corp (NYSE:CVS) fell by 0.42% to close the day at $80.70 a share.
Note: This article is written by Andy Parker and was originally published at Market Exclusive.