Howes Drug in Milford gets OK to dispense Narcan

MILFORD >> As the state continues to battle an opioid crisis, Howes Drug & Medical will begin prescribing and dispensing Narcan to patrons seeking the potentially life-saving drug.

Narcan, also known as naloxone, is used to counter the effects of opioids, including prescription pain medications and heroin.

“By allowing pharmacists to prescribe and make Narcan readily available in a crisis situation, lives will be saved, it’s that simple,” said pharmacist Ray Pantalena.

Overdoses are not always a result of using illegal drugs, state Department of Consumer Protection Comissioner Jonathan A. Harris has said in a release.

“Older adults taking several pain medications from different doctors can fall victim to accidental opioid overdose, as can people experimenting with drugs,” he said.

“Pharmacists are, and should continue to be, a primary source of information for anyone taking opioids, to help prevent against accidental misuse,” Harris has said.

Nationally, more than 37 percent of all drug fatalities in 2013 were opioid-related, according to Harris’ 2015 release.

Connecticut pharmacists can prescribe and dispense Narcan after completing training and being issued a certificate.

They can give the treatment kit to patients, caregivers and even family members, the state Department of Consumer Protection has said in a release.

Pharmacists dispensing Narcan are required to educate the patient or caregiver receiving the medication on how to administer the drug in the event of a suspected overdose, and may also provide information about addiction treatment and recovery resources.

Connecticut will receive naloxone at a reduced cost, because of a settlement reached with the drugmaker.

Amphastar Pharmaceuticals Inc. will give the state a $6 rebate for every dose of naloxone bought by state, municipal or local town agencies over the next year, according to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and state Attorney General George Jepsen.

Amphastar has agreed not to raise its wholesale per-dose cost for the drug for a year.

If the wholesale cost is increased, the rebate amount given to the state and town agencies will increase, as well. Connecticut has enacted new laws in recent years to make the drug more widely available to law enforcement and first responders, and last fall questioned large price increases for the medication.

In March, the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services launched a statewide toll-free number connecting residents seeking treatment and services for opioid addiction to local walk-in assessment centers.

People interested in seeking opioid addiction treatment and services for themselves or a loved one can call 800-563-4086.

For more information about Narcan at Howes Drug & Medical, call Pantalena at 203-878-2441. contributed to this story.