SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Twin City Pharmacy on Tuesday distributed approximately 90 free doses of the opioid reversal drug naloxone (Narcan) to residents of South Plainfield and the surrounding communities. The Park Avenue business was one of a handful of pharmacies throughout New Jersey to participate in the one-day statewide initiative aimed at combating the opioid crisis.
“It was differently a mixed group. Over half of those who have come for the free Narcan were parents and some are adults who may be opioid users,” Twin City co-owner and Pharmacist-in-Charge Bill Ashnault told TAPinto South Plainfleld, noting, “This is such an issue right now and having a failsafe in place can maybe make a difference and save a life.”
The free Narcan event was part of a pilot program announced earlier this month by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and approved by the New Jersey Board of Pharmacy.To be eligible, Twin City’s Pharmacy Manager Joe Savoly had to apply with the pharmacies selected and the number of Narcan provided determined by the state based on community statistics.
For the June 187 Naloxone Day, Twin City received 125 doses of the drug and each person was entitled to one dose, no questions asked; no name, prescription, insurance, or payment had to be provided. The pharmacy is required to send back any remaining doses of the drug that were not distributed during the one-day event.
While drug overdoses are a major issue, the free Narcan initiative was also geared toward patients with chronic pain, the elderly, and for parents. According to Ashnault, bills are currently pending that would allow pharmacists to dispense birth control without prescriptions. He also feels life-saving medications such as EpiPens, along with lifestyle products and morning after pills, should also be included.
“There are other drugs the state is looking to bring to the pharmacy side to make a difference for different groups of people,” Ashnault said.