LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A prescription opioid overdose-reversal drug saw a large leap in fills in Arkansas over the course of a year.
An analysis from the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement saw fills of naloxone prescriptions quadruple from fiscal year 2021 to fiscal year 2022.
ACHI officials stated that the number of prescription fills jumped from 5,575 in 2021 to 25,987 in 2022.
Naloxone is a fast-acting prescription drug that is administered to someone who is overdosing on opioids.
A release from ACHI noted that the considerable increase followed a new requirement that healthcare providers in the state co-prescribe naloxone when prescribing high-dose opioids as well as in other circumstances.
“Our legislators, health care providers, and advocates are working hard to combat the devastating impacts of the opioid epidemic in communities across the state, and we continue to support their efforts,” ACHI President and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson said. “The challenge before us remains significant, and there is more work to do to reduce the number of Arkansans dying from opioid overdoses.”
According to the ACHI, Arkansas had 637 overdose deaths in 2021, with 386 of them being opioid-related.
Earlier this year, the FDA approved an over-the-counter version of naloxone and Arkansas amended the state’s Naloxone Access Act, enlarging the number of people who can administer the drug and under what circumstances.