Iowans who want to be prepared in the event they encounter someone experiencing an opioid overdose can now obtain free naloxone (Narcan nasal spray) through the statewide Tele-Naloxone Project. The result of a partnership between the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC), the project hopes to remove the barriers of cost and access for individuals.
Funded by the federal State Opioid Response grant, individuals wanting to obtain naloxone participate in a brief consultation with a UIHC pharmacist using a mobile phone platform. Then, a free kit(s) is mailed to the individual anywhere in the state. “Cost should not be a barrier when it comes to saving someone’s life from an overdose. Through this effort our hope is it no longer will be,” said IDPH Opioid Initiatives Director Kevin Gabbert.
“The great thing about this project is that it increases awareness of opioid overdoses and increases access to naloxone,” said UIHC Ambulatory Pharmacy Director Lisa Mascardo. “We look forward to working closely with individuals in the community,” noting that each person can participate in the program regardless of whether they have received a supply in the past. Anyone who may be in a position to assist in the event of an opioid overdose is encouraged to receive Narcan education and have a supply on hand.
Naloxone is safe and easy to use, but most importantly, it may save a life in the event of opioid overdose. For more information and to order naloxone, visit www.naloxoneiowa.org.