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Kroger Offering Naloxone Sans Prescription, But Other Requirements Apply

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AP
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Supermarket chain Kroger is taking the lead in supplying anti-opioid overdose drug to customers without a prescription, but purchasing the drug won’t be as simple as picking up a box of Tylenol.

State leaders and anti-drug advocates have stressed the need to increase access to Naloxone in a bid to curb the state’s rising overdose numbers, but using and dispensing the drug necessitates some training. Monday, Kroger announced ambitious plans to make the emergency medication available without a doctor's prescription in nasal spray and injectable forms at all of its 96 Kentucky pharmacies. But there are a few things potential buyers should know before they approach the counter.

"It's a very comprehensive process of discussion that goes with it," says Dr. Mohan Petchimuthu, Kroger’s Pharmacy Manager of Clinical Sales.

First, pharmacists will determine if the intended patient meets certain eligibility requirements before educating customers on how to utilize the drug.

"We look at does a person have a documented history of receiving emergency medical care for opioid poisoning or overdose, someone with a suspected history of substance abuse of non-medical opioid, a person receiving high dose opioid prescriptions," he says. 

And Kroger isn’t alone. School officials in Kentucky are also considering stocking the overdose-reversing drug. Advocates argue the access is warranted by the state's high overdose death rate, one that puts Kentucky in the top five states in the nation according to the Centers for Disease Control.

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