Under 381.887, Florida Statutes, pharmacists are allowed to dispense naloxone under a non-patient specific naloxone standing order authorized by a health care practitioner. This means that pharmacists can dispense naloxone under a “behind the counter” model to individuals who did not come into the pharmacy with an individual prescription for naloxone. Pharmacy-based naloxone is an avenue for people who use legal or illegal prescription opioids or heroin to obtain naloxone and decrease their risk for overdose. Someone does not have to be using illegal opioids like heroin to be at risk of overdose – even prescribed medication for a legitimate need and taken as prescribed can sometimes cause harm – ensuring patients receive naloxone reduces that risk. Standing orders can also permit naloxone to be dispensed to a person who may be in a position to assist in the treatment of an overdose, like a friend or family member. All CVS and Walgreens pharmacies in Florida operate under naloxone standing orders to make this life-saving medication more available.
In addition, the State Surgeon General issued a statewide naloxone standing order for all pharmacies in Florida. This naloxone standing order from the State Surgeon General authorizes any licensed pharmacy to dispense naloxone to emergency responders. More information about the statewide standing order can be found here.
As pharmacists, you can provide patients with life-saving education about safe medication storage and disposal, overdose recognition and response, and access to naloxone. Some naloxone products are also covered by insurance. For more information about naloxone products, please visit http://prescribetoprevent.org/pharmacists/formulations/
For a sample pharmacy-based naloxone standing order, download here
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If your pharmacy wants training or technical assistance to operate under a non-patient specific naloxone standing order, you can contact DCF’s Overdose Prevention Coordinator at Amanda.Muller@myFLfamilies.com