SANTA FE, N.M., June 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) was joined today by U.S. Congressman Ben Ray Luján, New Mexico Secretary of Health Lynn Gallagher and Santa Fe County Sheriff Robert A. Garcia to highlight the availability of naloxone, the opioid overdose-reversal medicine, at all CVS Pharmacy locations in New Mexico. Naloxone is now available to patients without a prescription under a physician's standing order in the state.
"Naloxone is a safe and effective antidote to opioid overdoses and by expanding access to this medication in our New Mexico pharmacies by the use of a standing order for patients without a prescription, we can help save lives," said Tom Davis, RPh, Vice President of Pharmacy Professional Practices at CVS Pharmacy. "We support expanding naloxone availability to give more people a chance to get the help they need for recovery and we applaud Congressman Luján and leaders across New Mexico for their leadership in the fight against drug abuse and addiction."
"Throughout New Mexico, families are being hurt by the opioid drug crisis and communities are being torn apart. While there are countless people on the frontlines fighting to help our families, our friends, and our neighbors who struggle with drug abuse, it is clear that we must do more," said Congressman Ben Ray Luján. "That is why today, I am proud to stand alongside CVS as they work to increase access to the lifesaving drug naloxone. Naloxone is a critical treatment for people who are experiencing an opioid overdose, and making it more accessible will save lives. This is a good step in the right direction and I will continue my efforts to fight for more resources that will make treatment and prevention more affordable and accessible for those who want and need help."
Luján recently spearheaded the introduction of legislation to provide $1.1 billion to combat the opioid crisis and guided legislation through the House of Representatives to reauthorize residential treatment programs for pregnant and postpartum women dealing with substance abuse. Additionally, he has been appointed to the Opioids Bill Conference Committee that will work out differences between House and Senate passed legislation.
"Naloxone is an important tool for law enforcement, which is why we have launched the agency's first ever community-wide naloxone program," said Santa Fe County Sheriff Robert A. Garcia. "Naloxone is now being used in the field by Santa Fe County Sheriff's deputies, who are trained in the use of naloxone and often have naloxone kits and CPR face masks in their assigned cruisers. We have seen this medication save lives and we are glad to see community partners like CVS Pharmacy increase access to naloxone here in Santa Fe and across the state."
CVS Health has also launched digital resources on www.cvs.com/content/prescription-drug-abuse giving patients and families a single destination to learn more about drug abuse prevention. These resources build on CVS Health's longstanding commitment to helping communities address and prevent drug abuse. In 2015, CVS Health launched a community outreach program called Pharmacists Teach, which brings local pharmacists to high school health classes to talk to students about the dangers of drug abuse. More than 100,000 students have already taken part in the program. High school teachers and administrators in New Mexico can learn more about bringing Pharmacists Teach to their school at www.cvshealth.com.
CVS Health has also joined with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids to create the Medication Disposal for Safer Communities Program, which donates disposal units to local police departments, providing a safe and environmentally friendly way to dispose of unwanted medication. Police departments in New Mexico can apply to receive a drug collection unit at www.cvs.com/safercommunities.
In addition to New Mexico, CVS Pharmacy locations in 29 states will be able to dispense naloxone to patients without an individual prescription by August 2016.
About CVS Health
CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its more than 9,600 retail pharmacies, more than 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with nearly 80 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, the Company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable and effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at https://www.cvshealth.com.
Erin Shields Britt
SOURCE CVS Health