Yes, you can dispense naloxone without a prescription

Georgia pharmacists! Remember: You can dispense naloxone without a prescription. For some reason — despite our e-mails, blog posts, news digests, smoke signals, and whatnot — there are pharmacists and technicians who don’t realize this.

So, once again: You can dispense naloxone without a prescription. There are rules and caveats, of course, so we have a short Web page explaining: GPhA.org/naloxone.

Ask your friends and co-workers to be sure they got the message, too. If not … let them know!

CBO gives report on Senate GOP’s healthcare bill

The bottom line: It would cause 22 million Americans — about one in 15 people — to lose their health insurance because they can’t afford it.

It would save the government $321 billion (over 10 years) “driven by deep cuts to Medicaid and skimpier aid for people purchasing private coverage,” as Politico explained.

The Senate Republican leadership is pushing for a vote this week, but some members are demanding more time to review the details of the bill (which were only released last week) and to meet with constituents.

The American Hospital Association and American Medical Association have already come out against the bill as it’s written, while insurance giant Anthem has said it’s in favor of the bill.

Read the details here or in your favorite news source.

Opioid epidemic/crisis news

Who’s getting opioids? More than half of people who get prescriptions have depression or another mood disorder.

In fact, “19 percent of the 38.6 million Americans with mood disorders use prescription opioids, compared to 5 percent of the general population.”

A Rhode Island physician is leading a group experimenting with emergency naloxone dispensers — think of those defibrillator boxes — starting with a rehab center.

Convention attendees: Tell us what you think

Did you attend the 2017 Georgia Pharmacy Convention? If so, would you please take a few minutes for our real-quick survey? It just asks about what you liked, what could be better, and of course gives you a chance to comment about anything.

We want to make every year’s convention better than the last, and your answers are a huge part of that.

Just click right here — it won’t take more than about six and a half minutes. And thank you!

More sunlight, fewer drugs

A University of Michigan study found that, when there are sunshine laws disclosing payments from drug manufacturers to physicians, those physicians prescribe fewer drugs. But there’s a slight catch:

They found that doctors prescribed significantly fewer name-brand drugs after the [sunshine] law was passed, and that doctors wrote fewer overall prescriptions. The implication is that while the decrease in name-brand prescriptions may have lowered costs, the decrease in generic prescriptions—while not as dramatic—suggests possible underprescribing.

Elsewhere

An Oklahoma doctor is charged with murder for prescribing excessive amounts of unnecessary opioids.

Indiana is seeing an increase in pharmacy robberies that coincides with the state’s crackdown on opioids. It has the highest rate of pharmacy theft in the nation.

Arizona and Maine join four other states (no, not Georgia) in allowing pharmacists to prescribe and provide tobacco cessation therapy.