To reduce the morbidity and mortality of opioid overdoses in Arkansas, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson recently announced a standing order allowing Arkansas-licensed pharmacists to initiate naloxone therapy including ordering, dispensing and/or administering naloxone, along with any necessary supplies for administration, to eligible persons who are at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose, or who are family members, friends, or others who are in a position to assist a person at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose.

This standing order was issued pursuant to Act 284 of 2017 (SB 142) (Arkansas Code § 17-92- 101(16)) to authorize licensed pharmacists in Arkansas to order, dispense and/or administer naloxone according to the provisions of Arkansas Code § 17-92-101(16) and the requirements of this standing order.

Known by several names-Narcan, Evzio, Naloxone-naloxone is an Opioid Antagonist, meaning that it is a drug used to reverse/block the effects of opioids. Naloxone is safe and effective, and has no effect on non-opioid overdoses.

The Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy has compiled a variety of resources to assist in this initiative, including a copy of the protocol that pharmacists should use in naloxone distribution, a PowerPoint presentation detailing the opioid epidemic nationally and in our state, and a link to video footage of Governor Hutchinson’s press conference announcing this standing order. The complete list of resources can be found here.