All 39 Big Y Pharmacy and Wellness Centers now provide naloxone without a prescription. The move aims to help prevent opioid-related deaths throughout the grocer’s market area in Massachusetts and Connecticut, as the drug can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. Big Y's pharmacists are trained to instruct patients and their families in how to recognize the signs of an opioid overdose and how to administer the medication.
Citing state government data, Springfield, Mass.-based Big Y Foods Inc. noted that in 2016, there were nearly 2,000 opioid-related deaths in Massachusetts and 1,000 in Connecticut.
“Many of our pharmacists have contributed their professional expertise during panels at local opioid epidemic forums in our communities,” said Big Y Director of Pharmacy Nicole D’Amour Schneider. “The ability to now offer naloxone without a prescription to our patients and their families is just another way we can help them prevent an accidental overdose, save lives and allow our patients the opportunity to seek long-term treatment.”
Other retailers to offer the medication include Albertsons, Hy-Vee and SpartanNash.
One of the largest independently owned supermarket chains in New England, Big Y operates 70 supermarkets, 39 pharmacies, one Fresh Acres Market, one Table & Vine Fine Wines and Liquors location, and five Big Y Express gas and convenience stores throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts, with more than 11,000 employees.