CVS announced Thursday it will start stocking Naloxone, a drug that reverses opioid overdoses, on store shelves in 12 states.
The antidote is now available without a prescription in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and the company is expanding its reach to Arkansas, California, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin, CNN Money reports. Police departments and paramedics have long carried the drug, which can be administered by a shot or nasally. Opioids include heroin and prescription pain pills like oxycodone, which can become addictive.
"Over 44,000 people die from accidental drug overdoses every year in the United States," CVS Vice President Tom Davis said in a statement. "By providing access to this medication in our pharmacies without a prescription in more states, we can help save lives." The company is looking into getting Naloxone into additional states, but a spokesperson said in order to do that, the state has to set up a program, typically through the department of health or board of pharmacy, so it can be dispensed without a prescription.