CINCINNATI -- Kroger stores in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky will begin selling the heroin overdose antidote Narcan without a prescription, the company announced Friday.
Timely use of Narcan (Naloxone) reverses the effects of opiate overdoses. An $80 kit contains two doses of nasal spray. Purchasers will go through a consultation and an eight-step education checklist before receiving the drug.
In 2015, Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed House Bill 4, which expanded access to the drug by allowing heroin addicts and people who know them to buy it without a prescription from a doctor. The state requires pharmacies to develop a protocol and training for all of their pharmacists and then have a doctor sign off on the protocol.
Lawmakers in Indiana are working to pass a similar bill. Senate Bill 187 would require the State Department of Health to issue a standing order for overdose intervention drugs, like Narcan, to be sold without a prescription. The bill sailed through the Senate and is now in the House.
Supporters of the bill say that last year, more than 1,100 lives were saved by Indianapolis EMS administering Narcan and that at least 14 people have been saved this year.
Lawmakers supporting the measure say that Indiana is a target for drug dealers, which has increased the number of overdoses the last two years, increasing the need for Narcan's accessibility at a pharmacy without a prescription.
Currently in Indiana, Narcan is sold in drug stores with a prescription thanks to the passage of Aaron's Law. The bill is named after Aaron Sims, who died from a heroin overdose in 2013.
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