Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan
More than half of state’s pharmacies registered for standing order
Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018
LANSING, Mich. – Six months after a standing order for naloxone was authorized in Michigan, pharmacies have dispensed 1,838 potentially life-saving orders of the medication, 548 orders in the past three months, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley announced today.
Since May 2017, pharmacies have dispensed 3,854 other orders of naloxone through prescriptions from physicians, 1,040 in the last three months.
“As we continue our fight against opioid addiction, this order makes naloxone more accessible for those most likely to need it,” said Calley. “This is a vital step in reducing deaths related to opioid addiction in Michigan. By allowing for shorter response times in emergency situations, we can help save lives.”
Development of the standing order by MDHHS Chief Medical Executive Dr. Eden Wells is part of the state’s strategy for addressing the opioid epidemic in Michigan.
From October through the end of December, 563 Michigan pharmacies registered online to obtain the standing order, bringing the total of pharmacies registered for the program to 1,525. The standing order allows registered pharmacies to dispense naloxone to those at risk of an opioid-related overdose, as well as family members, friends and other persons who may be able to assist a person at risk of overdose.
There are 2,840 pharmacies with controlled substance licenses in Michigan, so the number registered to dispense naloxone under the standing order represents approximately 54 percent of the pharmacies in the state. Pharmacies are required to track the amount of naloxone dispensed and report these numbers to Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on a quarterly basis.
“Having more than half of our state’s pharmacies registered for the standing order is helping ensure access to naloxone when it is needed most,” said Wells. “However, I encourage all eligible pharmacies in Michigan to participate in this program. Together we can help save lives.”
Michigan has seen a dramatic increase in opioid-related deaths. From 1999 to 2016, 7,300 people have died from an opioid overdose with more than 60 percent of those deaths occurring since 2010.
Previously, naloxone was available only to individuals who received a prescription from their doctor. In recent years, law enforcement and other first responders have increased their capacity to administer naloxone to address opioid overdoses – the majority which occur due to prescription painkillers, fentanyl and heroin. Through the standing order, individuals can receive naloxone from a registered pharmacy without a prescription.
People who obtain naloxone from pharmacies receive information on steps for responding to an opioid overdose and important information about where to go for further treatment.
For more information about opioids and the additional steps residents can take to protect themselves and loved ones, visit Michigan.gov/stopoverdoses. For more information about available drug treatment services, visit Michigan.gov/bhrecovery.