Sharon M. Joyce Director
Access to the Opioid Overdose Reversal Drug Naloxone
NJ CARES collaborates with other state agencies to raise awareness and increase access to the life-saving medication naloxone. To facilitate distribution of more than 60,000 doses of free naloxone by the Department of Human Services, the Board of Pharmacy adopted a pilot program in 2019 to allow for the provision of free opioid antidotes to anonymous recipients, without meeting standard recordkeeping requirements. On June 18, 2019, the program distributed Narcan to 16,000 people through 174 pharmacies throughout the State in a day.
Between September 24-26, 2020, more than 300 pharmacies participated in a free naloxone giveaway day and distributed Narcan to 14,064 people. NJ CARES has also worked closely with the Division of Consumer Affairs (“DCA”) to increase access to naloxone during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the issuance of an emergency administrative order by the Director of DCA, as authorized during the pandemic, and subsequent permanent rulemaking by the Board of Medical Examiners, prescribers are now required to co-prescribe naloxone for those on high doses of opioids or taking certain dangerous drug combinations.