Duane Reade, Walgreen Company will begin dispensing naloxone without a prescription in the 300 Duane Reade and Walgreens stores citywide, and approximately 450 pharmacies statewide, beginning today, bringing naloxone availability without a prescription to more than 650 pharmacies citywide. 


Mayor Bill de Blasio asserted, “By making naloxone even more widely available we are literally saving lives and helping New Yorkers onto the path to recovery.”


Naloxone is a safe medication that can prevent death when administered during an opioid overdose. The Administration announced its availability at most Rite Aid and CVS stores, as well as other participating pharmacies, without a prescription under a the standing order issued by the City Health Commissioner, Dr. Mary Bassett, in December 2015.


City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said, “The benefits outweigh the risks and by increasing [naloxone’s] availability beyond emergency rooms we can help prevent fatal overdoes by treating them immediately.” It was the City Council’s recommendation in the FY’ 16 budget  the de Blasio administration expand the accessibility of naloxone.


With this new commitment from Duane Reade, Walgreen Co., New Yorkers can walk into any of more than 650 participating pharmacies to purchase naloxone and potentially save a life. For anyone who is unable to afford the insurance co-pay or the cost of naloxone, naloxone may be accessed free of charge at community-based opioid overdose prevention programs.


The Health Department strongly encourages individuals who are likely to witness an opioid overdose, including individuals at risk for opioid overdose themselves as well as their friends and family members, to learn more about overdose prevention and obtain naloxone.


Council Member Vanessa Gibson, Chair of Public Safety Committee said, “Naxolone saves lives. Making this drug available without a prescription is critical to combating the rise in opioid related deaths.”


Naloxone is considered a great advancement that will help prevent avoidable overdoses during this current heroin epidemic.


“The availability of it without a prescription allows families and loved ones of individuals who are struggling with addiction to easily purchase Naloxone  and keep it in case of an emergency.” said Council Member Andrew Cohen, Chair of the Committee on Mental Health.


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