RU Texas The Beat

Kroger to Sell Narcan at Pharmacies in 105 East Texas Locations

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 9, 2017 7:27:56 PM / by Sample HubSpot User posted in Recovery, Treatment, Heroin Addiction, Narcan, Opioid, Kroger

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With the state of Texas battling a fierce and pervasive heroin and opioid problem, lawmakers, police, recovery advocates and ordinary residents alike are banding together to come up with more and more solutions to curtail overdose. Most recently, the statewide prevention effort gained a new ally: Kroger Supermarkets. The national grocery chain as partnered with the Texas Pharmacy Association to offer the anti-overdose drug Narcan in the pharmacies at all 105 of their East Texas stores. NARCAN® (naloxone HCl) Nasal Spray delivers a 4mg concentrated dose of naloxone, which is simple, ready-to-use, and needle free. NARCAN® can be easily administered to someone who is actively overdosing on an opioid.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nearly 2,600 Texans died from drug overdose. Marlene Stewart, president of Kroger’s Houston division, has stated the company’s intention to be part of Texas’ initiative to decrease heroin and opioid overdoses across the state. In 2016, Texas SB 1462 took effect, which allows authorized medical professionals to prescribe naloxone through a standing order. Kroger pharmacists have received special training and education as part of the program. They are now educated and empowered to teach patients or third-party deployment agents to properly administer the drug in the event of an overdose.

Texas’ relationship with Narcan has evolved considerably over the past few years. In 2016, more and more police departments across the state were mandated to carry the drug amidst escalating overdose fatalities. Kroger is the latest company to offer the much-needed Narcan. In 2015, Walgreens started offering the drug in its 715 stores throughout the state. As the rate of opioid-related deaths continues to rise throughout Texas, increased access to Narcan in vulnerable areas is just one of a few proactive measures communities can take to protect themselves against losing a loved one.

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RU Texas Medical Director Featured in TMA Article on Narcan

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 8, 2016 3:17:53 PM / by RU Texas posted in Recovery, Opioid Addiction, Narcan

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Earlier this month, Recovery Unplugged Texas’ very own Dr. Carlos Tirado weighed on the availability and accessibility of naloxone (Narcan) in an article published by the Texas Medical Association. The piece described the urgent need for increased Narcan availability in the lone star state, and described a law enacted last year that allows ordinary citizens to administer the drug in a non-medical setting. It also outlined the toll that opioid addiction and overdose has taken on communities all over Texas and described the state’s opioid abuse status in relation to the rest of the country. Naloxone prices have been soaring since 2014.

Dr. Tirado, who currently serves as Medical Director for Recovery Unplugged Texas, discussed why he issued a standing pharmaceutical order for naloxone through the Texas Pharmacy Association (TPA), saying he felt it was important due to the historic nature of the opioid crisis consuming Texas and the rest of the United States. He has seen firsthand the increasingly devastating impact of opioid overdose on the Texas population and has called for more proactive solutions to the problem. To read Dr. Tirado’s exact quote, or the article in its entirety, click here.

In addition to Dr. Tirado’s point regarding the historic nature of Texas opioid addiction, the article highlights the dramatically increasing price of naloxone for communities that need it on a regular basis. One pharmaceutical manufacturer increased the wholesale price of its naloxone auto-injector to $4500 from under $700 in 2014. The price hikes have caught national attention; however, it has yet to be seen whether or not there will be any significant regulation or crackdown. Dr. Tirado noted that a doctor can prescribe three formulations of naloxone, and that coverage depends entirely on the patient’s prescription benefit plan and options.

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