Since the fall of 2015, Pennsylvania has a statewide standing order which allows pharmacies to dispense Naloxone under the order from Dr. Rachel Levine, PA's Physician General. A link to the standing order can be found below.
Why Should My Pharmacy Stock and Dispense Naloxone?
The short and honest answer is that because it is the right thing to do, every life is worth saving. Some pharmacists may feel that having naloxone in stock may place you and your business at risk of encountering potentially addicted patients. However, we stock glucose tablets, EpiPens and albuterol. At no point do we think twice about dispensing these to patients with diabetes, deadly allergies or asthma. We dispense these as rescue options just in case a patient encounters an emergency while trying to manage a disease. Addiction is no different. There is no evidence supporting that having naloxone increases overdose rates, but actually points to decreasing death associated with it. As pharmacists, we strive to do what is best for our patients, and to afford them every chance possible to become stronger and healthier. This could be giving that addict one more chance at rehab, or protecting a child that mistook medications for candy. Every patient has the right to live no matter what medical conditions they may have. Dispensing naloxone may result in saving the life of that patient be he/she an addict, a child, someone’s mother or grandfather.
Providing treatment options for addiction does go hand-in-hand with stocking naloxone; please see some of the resources available at the bottom of this page to learn more about what you can do to promote the next steps.
NBC10’s Generation Addicted Provides Raw Inside Look at the Heroin and Opioid Epidemic
This epidemic is affecting more than "just" addicts
Yes, pharmacists can save lives using naloxone in addicts. However, opioid misuse/abuse impacts children and families too. And, naloxone can help save their lives. Read about how naloxone saved the lives of two toddlers accidentally exposed to prescription narcotics and learn about the National Trends in Opioid Poisonings in Children.
Perspectives of Survivors, their families, and other providers
Click here to read how naloxone has helped and saved lives!
The pharmacists' perspective
Hear from other Pharmacists as to how and why they are dispensing naloxone, including tips you can use in your practice. Click here to learn more.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Philadelphia Field Division (PFD) Intelligence Program conducted a comprehensive analysis of illicit drug and diverted pharmaceutical abuse in Pennsylvania. Click here for this analysis.
How Do I Get Started - Steps to Implementing in Your Pharmacy
Click here for the Naloxone Implementation Guide.
College of Psychiatric and Neurological Pharmacists: Naloxone Access: A Practical Guide for Pharmacists
If your pharmacy stocks and dispenses Naloxone, register it with these registries.
Click here to view FAQs regarding Naloxone.
In this video Pennsylvania's Physician General, Rachel Levine, demonstrates how to administer Naloxone nasal spray.
Click here for this video.
Billing and Insurance Coverage
Medical Assistance: per 55 Pa Code, Chapter 1121 – Pharmaceutical Services - §1121.52, pharmacists can treat the standing order as a verbal order for Medical Assistance recipients. PA Medical Assistance will make payment for naloxone for the eligible Medical Assistance recipient. The Medical Assistance copay will not apply. The Evzio Auto-Injector is covered by Medical Assistance, but requires prior authorization. Generic naloxone is covered without the need for prior authorization. there is no limit to the number of fills that can be obtained. The Fee-for-Service Program will post information related to billing for naloxone on the DHS Pharmacy Services website Pharmacies will need to contact each MCO individually to obtain information about their billing procedures.
Please see this helpful chart which references payer coverage as best we know it. Please be sure to always verify for current information. This chart is only for initial reference only, please click here to access..
Other Assistance: Kaleo will cover the costs for the Evzio kits. This link below provides the information about this. There is also a sample card that can be printed off for patients to take with them to the pharmacy.
Understanding the Standing Order
To Access the Standing Order, click here:
Pennsylvania Department of Health website
PA Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs
Get Trained! Make Sure Your Patients Are Trained!
Training on the administration of naloxone is available at one of the Department of Health approved training sites getnaloxonenow.org or https://www.pavtn.net/act-139-training
Be a Community Advocate
Go out in the community and talk about naloxone, why it is important, and how to administer. See Patient Resources below for some materials to utilize.
Related CE Programs on Naloxone and/or Substance Abuse from PPA
Check for an upcoming webinars or other programs.
Home Study Articles - please note these are available to members only and you must be logged in
Addressing Pennsylvania's Opioid Crisis: What the Health Care Team Needs to Know
This series covers a variety of tools and resources for prescribers and dispensers to better address opioid addiction with their patients.
These CE programs are a collaboration between numerous groups including the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association, the Pennsylvania Medical Society, the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and others.
As part of our commitment to be a partner in solving the opioid epidemic, PPA is providing CE credit free for these modules at no charge to both members and non-members through December 31, 2016.
Prescribe to Prevent website has some good information around prescribing and dispensing of naloxone, as well as some flyers to use with patients.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) features an Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit as well as some helpful information.
Click here to access the toolkit..
Allegheny County Health Department has a number of useful tools especially to use with patients.
Resources are also available at these websites:
Prevention Point - Pittsburgh: www.pppgh.org
Prevention Point - Philadelphia: www.ppponline.org
Overdose Free PA: www.overdosefreepa.pitt.edu/