In a groundbreaking move to combat the opioid epidemic, Kinney Drugs, a drug store chain with its roots in the North Country, has announced the sale of over-the-counter Narcan. This development marks a significant step forward in making this life-saving drug accessible to all, without the need for a prescription.
The decision to offer Narcan without a prescription was unveiled on International Overdose Awareness Day. John Marraffa, President of Kinney Drugs, emphasized the importance of this initiative, stating, “Knowing the country is dealing with a large problem and having the first sale at Kinney to be something productive.”
Narcan, also known as naloxone, is a critical tool in reversing opioid overdoses. The ease of access to this medication is expected to make a substantial impact on the opioid crisis. “It reduces the stigma and allows people to walk into Kinney Drugs to obtain the product without any concerns about personal information,” Marraffa explained.
Dan Hall, Outpatients Service Director at the Howard Center, expressed his support for this move by pharmacies. “I think it’s a great option to have for the community, especially for those who don’t know how to access them from a pharmacy or going into a treatment center,” Hall noted. He further stressed the lifesaving role of Narcan, saying, “It’s a lifesaver, especially in a time when overdoses are extremely responsive, and countless lives have been saved.”
Kinney Drugs now joins the ranks of retailers like Walgreens and CVS in offering over-the-counter Narcan. This expansion of access to the drug is a positive step forward in addressing the opioid crisis.
The individuals we spoke with hope that more retailers nationwide will follow suit and offer this essential service, further contributing to the fight against opioid overdoses.