By David Powell and Rosalie Liccardo Pacula: For More Info, Go Here…
Allowing pharmacists to dispense the opioid antidote naloxone without a physician’s prescription can sharply reduce the incidence of fatal opioid-related overdoses, according to a new RAND Corporation study.
States that adopted such laws saw fatal opioid overdoses fall by an average of 27 percent during the second year following passage and 34 percent in subsequent years, according to the study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
Researchers found that laws that encourage the distribution of naloxone—but stop short of allowing direct dispensing by pharmacists—did little to reduce opioid-related overdose deaths.
“This is strong evidence that greater use of naloxone can help reduce opioid-related deaths,” said David Powell, a study co-author and a senior economist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. “But how laws are structured to increase naloxone use is important. Weaker laws that do not give pharmacists direct dispensing authority did not curb opioid deaths.”