Albertsons Pharmacies in Idaho Now Prescribing Opioid Overdose Reversal Drug
Albertsons Cos. trained eight pharmacy technicians in the Boise, Idaho, area — where the grocer is based — to prescribe the opioid antagonist naloxone ahead of a state law that went into effect July 1 allowing technicians to do so. Albertsons plans to train additional technicians over the next few months.
The law was signed in February by Governor Brad Little, who addressed the opioid epidemic as the main reason for allowing pharmacy technicians to prescribe naloxone in addition to pharmacists, physicians and nurse practitioners.
“Idaho is leading other states in the steps we are taking to expand access to this critical medication and in our efforts to address the opioid crisis,” Gov. Little said. “Training pharmacy technicians and all health professionals to prescribe naloxone further reaches our underserved and rural communities. Albertsons has been a key partner in increasing the scope of practice for both pharmacists and technicians to continue improving access to beneficial and lifesaving medications.”
Prescribing naloxone comes with a private consultation with the pharmacist or pharmacy technician to determine the patient's eligibility, train them on administration and, when appropriate, notify their primary care physician.
"Our pharmacy teams are on the frontlines of fighting opioid misuse, so we welcome the opportunity to expand our efforts in outreach, education, and naloxone dispensing," said Mark Panzer, Albertsons Cos. SVP of pharmacy health and wellness. "With a 163% increase in deaths from opioid overdoses in Idaho over the last decade, adding these newly trained caring professionals to our current efforts couldn’t come soon enough. It directly supports our promise to serve and improve the health and wellness of our customers and patients."
Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons Cos. operates stores across 35 states and the District of Columbia under 20 well-known banners, including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen and Carrs, as well as meal-kit company Plated. The company is No. 3 on Progressive Grocer's 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.