Increase in Naloxone For New Mexico Residents

Increase in Naloxone For New Mexico Residents

Increase in Naloxone For New Mexico Residents


Naloxone For New Mexico ResidentsA new law, signed by Gov. Susana Martinez, is allowing New Mexico pharmacists to dispense naloxone, a drug that reverses opioid overdose, without a prescription [1].


According to the State Department of Health, in the first quarter of 2016, pharmacists in New Mexico dispensed almost five times the amount of naloxone (Brand name: Narcan) as they did in the same quarter in 2015 [1]. From January 1, 2016 to March 31, 2016 thirty-five pharmacies submitted 285 claims to Medicaid for naloxone, which was increased from 59 claims during the same quarter in 2015 [1]. It should be noted that these thirty-five pharmacies only account for a small fraction of approximately 300 pharmacies statewide [1]. While the figures for naloxone claims are up, they still underwhelming compared to the 1.75 million opioid drug prescriptions that New Mexico physicians wrote in 2015 [1]


The new law intends to make naloxone available to anyone, including users of prescription opioids and those that may witness an opioid overdose. Dr. Michael Landen, State Epidemiologist, states that the goal is to have all pharmacies stock naloxone [1]. Pharmacies throughout the state are being encouraged to dispense naloxone to all patients with a prescription for opioids [1]. Additionally, the state is encouraging physicians to prescribe naloxone to all patients with an opioid prescription [1]


Deaths due to drug overdose have become a public health crisis in the United States [2] and New Mexico’s drug overdose death rate was the second highest in the country in 2014, with 536 New Mexico resident deaths being due to drug overdose, which was up 19% from the previous year [1]. Legal, prescription opioid medications were responsible for approximately 50% of the deaths, and 154 deaths were due Naloxone For New Mexico Residentsto heroin overdose [1].


Administration of naloxone provides a means of preventing opioid-related deaths [3]. CVS and Walgreens pharmacies throughout New Mexico have recently announced their plan to stock and dispense naloxone. Further, some Albertsons and Smiths Food and Drug stores currently stock naloxone and the state is currently negotiating with Walmart to stock and dispense the drug. Preventing opioid-related deaths should become a primary focus of pharmacists throughout the country [3].





  1. Uyttebrouck O. Updated: More NM residents get naloxone. Abqjournalcom. 2016. Available at: Accessed July 7, 2016.
  2. Wermeling D. Review of naloxone safety for opioid overdose: practical considerations for new technology and expanded public access. Therapeutic Advances in Drug Safety. 2015;6(1):20-31. doi:10.1177/2042098614564776.
  3. Bailey A, Wermeling D. Naloxone for Opioid Overdose Prevention: Pharmacists’ Role in Community-Based Practice Settings. Annals of Pharmacotherapy. 2014;48(5):601-606. doi:10.1177/1060028014523730.
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