CDC Vital Signs: Pharmacy-Based Naloxone Dispensing — United States, 2012–2018

Aug 12, 2019 | Kim Rodgers

The CDC Vital Signs series addresses a single important public health topic each month. This month’s release presents findings on naloxone prescribing in the United States from 2012 to 2018 and county-level naloxone dispensing in 2018. Naloxone is a life-saving medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

Key findings of the report:

  • The number of naloxone prescriptions dispensed doubled from 2017 to 2018 – going from about 270,000 to 556,000 prescriptions.
  • Only one naloxone prescription is dispensed for every 70 high-dose opioid prescriptions, a risk factor for overdose.
  • Naloxone prescribing rates were markedly lower among primary care doctors, pain medicine specialists, surgeons, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners. Providers with higher rates of naloxone prescribing per 100 high-dose opioid prescriptions were addiction medicine specialists, psychiatrists, and pediatricians.
  • Most (71%) Medicare prescriptions for naloxone required a copay, compared to 42% for commercial insurance.
  • Naloxone dispensing is 25 times greater in the highest dispensing counties than the lowest dispensing counties.
  • Rural counties were nearly 3 times more likely to be a low dispensing county compared to metropolitan counties.

CDC recommends that healthcare providers consider offering naloxone to all patients at risk for overdose. Some risk factors make patients particularly vulnerable to prescription opioid overdose, including taking high-dose prescription opioids, using benzodiazepines concurrently with opioids, having a history of substance use disorder, misusing prescription opioids, or using illicit drugs (either opioids or potentially contaminated with opioids). HHS guidance and the Surgeon General’s advisory on naloxone reinforce and expand upon the CDC recommendations on when to consider naloxone for overdose prevention.

CDC’s programmatic opioid funding – Overdose Data to Action – provides supports to states and communities to develop and implement innovative and evidence-based strategies to prevent opioid overdose deaths. This includes using data to help target where the need for naloxone might be the greatest. Across the country, overdose protocols are being set up in emergency departments to initiate medication-assisted treatment, make warm hand-offs to treatment services in the community, create connections to harm reduction services, and dispense naloxone. Significant progress has been made, but there are many opportunities to help improve naloxone prescribing and dispensing.


637020799465370000

About Kim Rodgers

Kim Rodgers is the Communications Manager at NACCHO.

More posts by Kim Rodgers

Related Posts

Special needs
  • COVID-19
  • Infectious Disease
  • Maternal, Child, & Adolescent Health

NACCHO Recruiting Members for Collaborative Workgroup on...

, NACCHO is looking to expand the Maternal-Child, Infectious Disease, and...

Aug 05, 2020 | Adelaide Appiah

NACCHO Recruiting Members for Collaborative Workgroup on...

AFM Graphic
  • Infectious Disease

CDC Vital Signs Report: Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM)

CDC released a new Vital Signs report on acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), an...

Aug 04, 2020 | Kim Rodgers

CDC Vital Signs Report: Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM)

Fema logo blue medium
  • Webinar
  • Communications & Public Relations
  • Emergency Response

Webinar Series: Effective Accessible Communications

FEMA will host a two-part webinar series on accessible communications and how...

Aug 04, 2020 | Beth Hess

Webinar Series: Effective Accessible Communications

Water Droplet
  • COVID-19
  • Tools & Resources
  • Webinar
  • Infectious Disease

WASH During COVID-19: Guidance for Local Jurisdictions

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), in...

Aug 04, 2020 | Emily D'Angelo

WASH During COVID-19: Guidance for Local Jurisdictions

Human Figure With Liver
  • HIV, STI, & Viral Hepatitis
  • Research & Reports

2018 Viral Hepatitis Surveillance Report: Cases of...

The CDC recently released Viral Hepatitis Surveillance – United States, 2018,...

Aug 04, 2020 | Kat Kelley

2018 Viral Hepatitis Surveillance Report: Cases of...

NIAM2020
  • Tools & Resources
  • Immunization

Promote the Importance of Vaccines during National...

National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) is observed annually in August to...

Aug 03, 2020 | Kimberly Sharpe-Scott

Promote the Importance of Vaccines during National...

Breastfeeding
  • Breastfeeding
  • Community Engagement
  • Maternal, Child, & Adolescent Health

August is National Breastfeeding Month

August is National Breastfeeding Month and this week is World Breastfeeding...

Aug 03, 2020 | Harumi Reis-Reilly

August is National Breastfeeding Month

BCHD Final Logo Color Large White Background 03
  • HIV, STI, & Viral Hepatitis

Stories From the Field: Collaboration is Key for HIV...

In May 2020, NACCHO conducted a brief survey to assess local health...

Aug 03, 2020 | Julia Zigman (she/her)

Stories From the Field: Collaboration is Key for HIV...

Support Group Meeting
  • COVID-19
  • Press Release
  • Opioid Overdose Epidemic

Press Release: Report from the Field: COVID-19 Impact on...

Today, NACCHO released new data documenting the impact of the COVID-19 response...

Aug 03, 2020 | Andrea Grenadier

Press Release: Report from the Field: COVID-19 Impact on...

Back to Top