Topic: HistoryUnited States

Last updated: January 25, 2020

Jones, Lurie, and Compton studies the trends of prescription of naloxone in the outpatient setting, retail pharmacies in particular, in the United States (2016, p. 689). The researchers use IMS Health’s National Prescription Audit in order to calculate the counts of naloxone prescriptions, which are classified into three groups (Evzio, the 2 milligram/2 millimeter naloxone formulation, other formulations), in US retail pharmacies for every quarter between July 2010 and June 2015 (Jones, Lurie and Compton, 2016, p. 689). In addition, they also determine the percentage of dispensed naloxone by the gender and age of the recipient, as well as the specialty of the provider (Jones, Lurie, and Compton, 2016, p. 689). As Jones, Lurie and Compton (2016) records, results show that naloxone prescriptions increased starting from 2014 coinciding with the first release of Evzio and the shift in the usage of the 2 milligram/2 millimeter formulation of naloxone (p. 689). In conclusion, Jones, Lurie and Compton states that the results show the complement between naloxone prescriptions in the outpatient setting and naloxone distribution through traditional community-based organizations (2016, p. 690).
The study by Jones, Lurie and Compton presents the fact that prescriptions of naloxone, an antidote used to treat heroin overdose, have increased in the last few years. This shows that through the growth of naloxone prescriptions, the heroin epidemic can be fought; as by making naloxone accessible through retail pharmacies, the general public can be made aware of treatments available for overdose. However, the researchers only present the numbers from IMS’ data but does not analyze whether the increase of naloxone prescriptions have positive or negative effects on traditional community-based programs of naloxone distribution. Through this, Jones, Lurie and Compton could present a more concrete evidence on how naloxone prescriptions can aid community-based naloxone programs.


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