Pharmacy including OD kit with opioid prescriptions


Keystone Pharmacy is including a dose of naloxone used to prevent opioid overdoses with any patient prescribed opioids. Courtesy Keystone

A local pharmacy is now providing naloxone with each opioid prescription filled.

Keystone Pharmacy, 4021 Cascade Road SE, Ste. 50, is including a dose of the life-saving drug used to prevent opioid overdoses with any patient prescribed opioids. Keystone also will distribute naloxone, which comes in both an injection and nasal spray form, to school boards, caregivers and others who have a need.

A prescription will not be needed to obtain naloxone from Keystone.

Naloxone, also known by its brand name “Narcan,” blocks the effects of opiates at the receptor level in the brain, reversing potential overdoses. Increased reports of its usage in West Michigan to reverse potentially fatal overdoses have been documented in recent months.

“We have reached an opioid epidemic in our country, where more people are dying from an opioid overdose than a car crash or a gun shot in the state of Michigan,” Keystone owner and chief formulation scientists David J. Miller said. “This epidemic is literally killing people, and Keystone Pharmacy wants to be part of the solution. Dispensing Naloxone along with an opioid prescription will protect our patients or their loved ones in the event of an overdose.”

Grand Rapids-based SpartanNash stores recently expanded its program distributing naloxone in emergency overdose kits to each of its 61 Michigan pharmacies. Metro Health: University of Michigan Health also has begun prescribing Narcan to discharged patients who were treated for opioid overdoses at the hospital.

In Michigan, opioids and heroin account for more than two-thirds of all reported overdoses in the state. Additionally, a 2013 national study found that opioid abuse health care costs in Michigan totaled $830 million and cost private health insurers $14 billion nationally.

“Keystone Pharmacy believes that naloxone is a key component to safeguard individuals in our community and mitigate the epidemic-level threats to its future health and economy,” Miller said. “Providing the tools to combat an opioid overdose is a crucial step in fighting opioid abuse.”

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