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New training allows pharmacists to dispense heroin overdose antidote


From Illinois Business Journal news services

SPRINGFIELD — On-demand, web-based training is now available for pharmacists throughout Illinois seeking to dispense Naloxone, a drug widely utilized to counter the effects of overdose from narcotics such as morphine and heroin.

By completing the Illinois State Opioid Antagonist Training Program, certified pharmacists will gain the ability to dispense Naloxone without a prescription to those that might benefit most, including, trained first responders, school nurses or any individuals at risk of overdose. The program is the result of a new law passed in September 2015, expanding access to the opioid antagonist drug Naloxone.

“Since 1999, the rate of overdose deaths involving opioids, including prescription pain relievers and heroin, has quadrupled in the United States,” said Bryan A. Schneider, secretary of the Illinois Department of Financing and Professional Regulation. “In 2014, Illinois experienced 1,705 opioid overdose deaths, according to CDC statistics. With training now readily available, Illinois’ licensed pharmacists can help stem the rise in opioid overdose deaths by ensuring this life-saving medication is at the ready should an emergency arise.”

Standardized procedures for dispensing Naloxone were approved by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, in accordance with the Departments of Public Health and Human Services. Under these standardized procedures, eligible pharmacists who have completed a certificate training program in opioid overdose prevention, and who are CPR certified, may dispense Naloxone and educate patients or concerned entities.

Pharmacists are encouraged to register for the Illinois State Opioid Antagonist Training Program by visiting: Naloxone standardized procedures for pharmacists may be found on the state’s webpage at:

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