JULY 21, 2016



LAS VEGAS – Members of the public may soon be able to purchase the opiate overdose rescue medication naloxone (Brand Name: Narcan) without an individual prescription following unanimous action by the Nevada Board of Pharmacy on Thursday. These regulations implement certain provisions of the states “Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act” enacted by Governor Brian Sandoval in May 2015.

Narcan is a rescue medication that immediately reverses the effect of opiate overdose. It can be successfully administered by anyone. Naloxone is currently available by prescription and may be covered by insurance including Medicaid. However, these regulations clarify for Nevada Pharmacists procedures for dispensing naloxone to patients without an individual prescription, including those with third party prescriptions.

The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act of 2015 (Senate Bill 459, Chapter 26, Statutes of Nevada 2015 NRS 453C.120) created various provisions addressing the opiate overdose epidemic that continues to claim over 300 lives per year in Nevada. The law prevents punitive actions against health professionals and any person who administers naloxone or calls 911 to assist someone who may be overdosing on opiates.

Advocates believe a lack of public education is one reason full implementation of this law has been slow. “Since this law was enacted, fifteen months ago, 504 people have died of overdoses in Nevada”, said Heidi Gustafson, of the Foundation for Recovery at the Board’s public hearing on the regulations.

It is an unknown how many lives may have been saved had naloxone been personally possessed by someone present, however statistics tell us that most of these deaths occur in the presence of others, meaning there is both time and opportunity to intervene and save a life.” Gustafson continued.

Work continues as The regulations will be sent to the Legislative Commission for final approval. In the meantime, though, advocates will continue working toward full implementation of the law. This includes informing policy makers, attorneys, law enforcement, physicians, pharmacists, and the public about the law as well as securing standing orders so that naloxone may be dispensed throughout the state.

This action follows exactly a month after Governor Sandoval convened a planning meeting to review state progress in curtailing the epidemic. The Governor`s Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit, 2016 has been scheduled for August 31 – September 1, 2016 in Las Vegas, details yet to be determined. For more information about this summit or to add you to the summit notification list, contact Rota Rosachi of the Nevada Public Health Foundation at (775) 884-0392 or