Statement on New CDC Report Showing Slight Increase in Naloxone Dispensing – But Still Lags Compared to Overall Opioid Prescribing

Press Release August 7, 2019
Media Contact

Matt Sutton 212-613-8026

New York, NY – Below is a statement from Sheila Vakharia, PhD, Policy Manager and Researcher with the Drug Policy Alliance, in response to a new CDC report showing that, in 2018, while naloxone dispensing by pharmacies did increase slightly from 2017, still only one naloxone prescription was dispensed for every 69 high-dose opioid prescriptions.

“It is encouraging to see a modest uptick in naloxone dispensing, but pharmacists still only dispensed one dose of naloxone for every 69 high-dose opioid prescriptions in 2018. Too many patients remain at risk for an overdose because stigma has limited access to naloxone. It is incumbent upon doctors and pharmacists to be a larger part of the solution by proactively prescribing and dispensing this lifesaving medication. These findings affirm that we need to take a multi-prong approach to ensure that naloxone gets into as many hands as possible- through pharmacies, but also community-based harm reduction and syringe access programs.”

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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