Is Narcan allowed to be sold over the counter at Maine drugstores?

The response has been mixed

There has been debate about the rollout of naloxone or "Narcan" in drugstores in Maine.

Reports started to circulate that Walgreen's stores throughout the state began selling Narcan, after Maine legislators passed an emergency bill last month that would allow it to be sold in stores without a prescription.

Monday NEWS CENTER stopped by a Walgreen's in Bangor and asked workers if Narcan was available in the store. A worker said that it was available in the store's pharmacy.

However, the store may not actually be allowed to sell the drug just yet.

Joe Bruno, President of the Maine Board of Pharmacy informed NEWS CENTER that there is to be no dispensing of Narcan over the counter at pharmacies in Maine. Bruno says the board has not finalized the rules under the recent legislation. The rules are expected to be adopted at a meeting on August 3, but Governor LePage would still have to sign off on the rules, according to Bruno. Bruno says Walgreen's was notified of this Monday.

NEWS CENTER reached out to Walgreen's corporate office but did hear back.

The conversation over whether Narcan should be allowed in drugstores is polarizing. 

 

 

Milo Chernin, of Charleston, lost her son to opioid addiction in January. A few months before, Paramedics used Narcan to revive him after another overdose. 

"You're hoping and hoping that the Narcan works," Chernin said.

Chernin says she's not sure how effective Narcan actually is at addiction recovery. Eventually her son's addiction caught up to him. However, Chernin believes that everyone is different, and that there is no cookie-cutter approach to fighting addiction. She thinks that having Narcan available in the home can give someone another chance at recovery.

Not everyone thinks Narcan should be sold in stores. Some people believe it will only enable drug addicts.

Ed Moreshead, a paramedic in Bangor has administered Narcan to people. He says there are things people should know before buying Narcan over the counter. Moreshead says that you should only buy it if you have a family member or loved one who is at risk of overdosing. He doesn't suggest buying it to administer on people you may not know in public. Moreshead also says that if you ever feel you are in a position where you need to use Narcan on someone, you should call 9-1-1 first. Some people are also known to be combative or disoriented after Narcan is administered.

 

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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