Naloxone is to be made more readily available next month. Public Health England’s Steve Taylor looks at how local services and commissioners can respond to this change in the law
Legislation to allow naloxone to be more widely available for those who need it is on track to be enacted next month. This follows the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD)’s recommendation in 2013 and a public consultation by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in 2014 that saw wide support for the proposals.
The evidence shows that take-home naloxone given to service users, and training family members or peers in how to administer naloxone, can be effective in reversing heroin overdoses. Because it is only available as an injectable product, naloxone will remain a prescription-only medicine but the legislation will permit people working in commissioned, lawful drug treatment services to supply naloxone without a prescription to anyone needing it to prevent a heroin overdose.