February 15, 2022 (Charleston, West Virginia)—The West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute (WV DII) is launching Nalox(ONE) West Virginia in partnership with over 20 pharmacies across West Virginia. The Nalox(ONE) Program empowers pharmacists to educate patients who receive prescribed opioid medications at participating pharmacies in West Virginia. Patients will have the option to receive the overdose reversal medication, Naloxone, and will also receive a DisposeRx® home medication disposal packet free of charge at the time of a pharmacist consultation.
“The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported a significant increase in West Virginia’s rate of overdose death from 2020 to 2021. Research indicates that co-prescribing naloxone with an opioid is effective in decreasing non-fatal and fatal overdoses,” said Dr. Susan Bissett, President of the West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute. “The WV DII is proud of this initiative to provide lifesaving medication at the time of an opioid fill making West Virginia homes safer,” added Bissett.
Pharmacists will be trained and educated about co-prescribing through curriculum being used in four states and developed by the North Dakota State University School of Pharmacy. At the time of an opioid prescription fill, pharmacists utilize an opioid screening tool to determine the risk of accidental overdose in the home along with counseling on proper medication use, storage and disposal. Pharmacy technicians will conduct follow-up calls with patients.
The Nalox(ONE) WV Program will reach over 10,000 patients with opioid prescriptions in a one-year time frame at these participating pharmacies: Fruth Pharmacy, Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network West Virginia (CPESN WV) and PursueCareRx Pharmacy.
“We are thrilled to be a part of implementing a proven model of medication safety that has been successful in other states,” said Lynne Fruth, President of Fruth Pharmacy. “The combination of co-prescribed naloxone with medication disposal education is important not only for our pharmacies but also for the communities we serve,” added Fruth.
One of the main objectives of this program is to educate West Virginians about the dangers that opioids can pose in the home and to prevent overdose deaths.
Pharmacists will be trained and educated about co-prescribing through curriculum developed by the North Dakota State University School of Pharmacy and now being used in four states. Pharmacists will begin the accredited training process with plans to launch the Nalox(ONE) program in March 2022. Participating pharmacists will receive three Continuing Education Units (CEU) credits and reimbursement for their time upon completion of this training.
Dr. Gretchen Garofoli, CPESN WV says “Pharmacists have so much to offer but are handcuffed by lack of coverage. This project’s novel approach puts us in the game to serve West Virginians!”
The Nalox(ONE) project is funded in part by State Opioid Response funding through the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources with matching funding from the WV DII.
The West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization governed by a Board of Directors located in Charleston, West Virginia, with the mission of reducing overdose deaths in our region. More information about WV DII and the Nalox(ONE) project can be found by visiting www.wvdii.org/naloxonewv