Anti-Overdose Drug Available Soon Without A Prescription At Kroger

Feb 12, 2016

In response to increased heroin overdoses, 84 Kroger pharmacies in southwest Ohio and 16 in Northern Kentucky will soon offer an anti-overdose drug without a prescription.
Credit provided / Hamilton County Sheriff's Department

Ohio-based grocery chain Kroger will make an opioid overdose antidote available without a prescription in its pharmacies across Ohio and northern Kentucky.

Kroger spokeswoman Patty Leesemann says the company's pharmacies will offer naloxone over the counter within a week. 

She says it will only be sold to those 18 or older.

“Individuals must complete a form and attend an educational class or session with a pharmacist," Leesemann says. "And they must sign a consent form to obtain the product.”

Leesemann says the idea is to have the drug on-hand before an overdose happens.

Ohio and Kentucky both passed laws in 2015 allowing pharmacists to sell the opioid overdose antidote without a prescription. 

While Kroger has more than 2,700 stores in 35 states and the District of Columbia, Leeseman says the prescription-free naloxone sales are only at 200 Kroger pharmacies in Ohio, and 16 in Northern Kentucky.

“As other states adopt this bill or law, then they would probably go along down this path,” she says. 

Leeseman says many insurance companies are covering naloxone, and the cost to a customer would be about $90 for two doses and two syringes.

Earlier this week, Walgreens announced it would sell naloxone without a prescription in 35 states, including Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.  As of February 1, CVS pharmacies offered naloxone over-the-counter in Ohio, Indiana, and at least 12 other states.