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CVS to Offer Overdose Reversal Drug in Pennsylvania Without Prescription

SCRANTON — One of the largest drug store chains in the country is hoping to save lives. CVS Pharmacy announced that Pennsylvania and 11 other states will ...

SCRANTON -- One of the largest drug store chains in the country is hoping to save lives.

CVS Pharmacy announced that Pennsylvania and 11 other states will now have access to Naloxone which is also known as Narcan.

The prescription drug is used to reverse overdoses from drugs such as heroin.

"We think that's a wonderful resource for individuals and family members to have because again it is a very safe and effective antidote," Bo Hoban of Lackawanna/Susquehanna Office of Drug and Alcohol programs said.

Up until this announcement, Narcan was only available by prescription or by an emergency responder.

It was just last week when Clarks Summit Police Chief Chris Yarns used the drug on someone who overdosed on heroin.

They had no pulse when he arrived, but the contents in his bag saved their life.

"It was uplifting that I was able to help someone in need and I feel it most likely saved someone's life," Chief Chris Yarns said.

And that's exactly what the major drug store is hoping for. The company's vice president says providing access to Narcan in its stores can help save lives.

At Andrew Brown's Drug Store in Scranton, they're able to get Naloxone on the shelves within 24 hours.

It's already proven to be a big help for some of their customers.

"It's been a great asset to you know the medical community for controlling and trying to get one avenue of trying to combat the epidemic of opiod and heroin abuse," Michael Brown of Andrew Brown's Drug Store said.

At the office of Drug and Alcohol Programs in Scranton director Bo Hoban says this move by CVS is a good thing.

Since the spring, Narcan has saved at least nine lives in the area.

"We need as many resources in the community as possible that can help save lives of individuals and then get them involved in treatment services and a life of long term recovery is the hope," Hoban said.

A pharmacist told Newswatch 16 Narcan without insurance can cost up to $500.

Narcan comes in both a nasal spray and injection.

We tried to contact CVS corporate to see when Narcan will be available without a prescription. Our call from the corporate office was not returned.

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