CINCINNATI (AP) — Naloxone dispensing increased more than 2,000% in Ohio since it was made available without a prescription in 2015, research shows.
A new study by the University of Cincinnati showed obtaining naloxone without a prescription made a huge impact in the state, WCPO reported.
The drug, which reverses the effects of an opioid overdose by helping the person breathe again, was made available to purchase from a pharmacy without a prescription in July 2015. Before the law passed, residents had to go through an order process to get naloxone, which some said created barriers.
“In the past a person would have had to go to a physician’s office, see the physician, get a prescription, go to the pharmacy to get the medication, so those are a lot of steps,” said Pam Heaton, a professor of pharmacy practice at UC’s Winkle College.
The research documented that as of May 2019, around 75% of community pharmacies in the state were registered to dispense the drug without a prescription.
Ohio had the second-highest rate of opioid overdose deaths in 2017, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
This story was first published on Feb. 3, 2020. It was updated on Feb. 10, 2020, to make clear that naloxone dispensing increased by more than 2,000% since it was made available without a prescription in 2015.