CHARLESTON– A big development in the fight against West Virginia’s opioid epidemic.
Kroger pharmacies are going to offer a life-saving drug without a prescription. As of Monday, Kroger stores across West Virginia are making Naloxone available to anyone without a prescription.
This is the shot that reverses overdose symptoms within minutes. First responders have it with them at all times, especially in West Virginia, where the overdose rates are so high.
A news release from Kroger said West Virginia had the highest rate of death due to drug overdose in the United States at 41.5 deaths per 100,000 population in 2015. The rate is more than double the national average.
Since Naloxone has been available, Kroger has equipped their pharmacists with training and guidance necessary.
Ohio and Kentucky Kroger stores started providing Naloxone last year.
Last year, the West Virginia Legislature adopted a law allowing pharmacies to dispense Naloxone without a prescription. The legislation also called for the Board of Pharmacy and the Bureau of Public Health to develop a protocol for patient counseling, educational materials and documentation through the West Virginia Controlled Substances Monitoring Program.