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Walgreens to stock opioid overdose drug Narcan nationwide

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 9: In this photo illustration, a package of NARCAN (Naloxone) nasal spray sits on the counter at a Walgreens pharmacy, August 9, 2017 in New York City. Starting on Wednesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday that no-cost or low cost Naloxone (NARCAN), a drug that can help reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, will be available at all pharmacies across New York state. (Photo Illustration by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Walgreens announced Tuesday, October 24th, it will begin stocking the opioid overdose drug, Narcan, at all of their locations nationwide.

According to walgreens.com, Narcan is an FDA-approved nasal form of naloxone. The drug is administered by nasal spray and can be used to reverse the effects of opioid drugs, including some prescription painkillers and heroin.

Walgreens says to help educate the public on the use of the drug, pharmaceutical wholesaler AmerisourceBergen distributed Narcan demo devices to pharmacists at no cost to show patients how to properly administer the medication. However, they are also instructing patients to call 911 immediately after administering the drug.

“By stocking Narcan in all our pharmacies, we are making it easier for families and caregivers to help their loved ones by having it on hand in case it is needed,” said Rick Gates, Walgreens group vice president of pharmacy. “As a pharmacy we are committed to making Narcan more accessible in the communities we serve.”

The announcement comes at a time when Milwaukee County is seeing an uptick in overdose deaths. There have now been more than 100 heroin-related deaths in the county for four straight years. Overall, there have been more than 300 suspected drug overdose deaths this year in Milwaukee County.

Walgreens will stock Narcan in all of its more than 8,000 pharmacies nationwide.

Last year Walgreens announced an effort to make naloxone available without requiring a prescription in states where regulations allow. The company now offers naloxone without requiring a prescription in 45 states and is eager and willing to work with the remaining states to make naloxone easier to obtain.