Factors associated with how often community pharmacists offer and dispense naloxone

Res Social Adm Pharm. 2019 Dec;15(12):1415-1418. doi: 10.1016/j.sapharm.2018.07.008. Epub 2018 Jul 10.


Background: A recent Surgeon General's report encourages people to ask pharmacists about naloxone, but whether pharmacists are well-prepared to respond to these requests is unclear.

Objectives: Determine factors that are associated with how often pharmacists offer and dispense naloxone.

Methods: A convenience sample of 457 community pharmacists in North Carolina completed a 5-min online survey. Linear regressions were conducted to identify factors that are associated with how often pharmacists offer and dispense naloxone. Pharmacists' self-reported barriers to teaching naloxone administration were identified.

Results: Most pharmacists (81.2%) worked in pharmacies that stocked naloxone, but many never offered (36.6%) or dispensed (19.4%) naloxone. Pharmacists offered (β = 0.15, p < 0.01) and dispensed (β = 0.15, p < 0.01) naloxone more often when their pharmacy stocked more naloxone formulations. Pharmacists who were more comfortable discussing naloxone offered it more often (β = 0.26, p = 0.001). Pharmacists who worked in regional/local/grocery chain pharmacies dispensed and offered naloxone less often than other pharmacy types. Barriers to teaching naloxone administration included: time constraints, inadequate training, and perceived lack of patient comprehension.

Conclusions: Many community pharmacists do not offer or dispense naloxone. Pharmacists who are uncomfortable discussing naloxone or work at smaller chain pharmacies may benefit from targeted naloxone training.

Keywords: Education; Health communication; Naloxone; Pharmacists.

MeSH terms

  • Community Pharmacy Services / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Naloxone*
  • Narcotic Antagonists*
  • North Carolina
  • Pharmacists / organization & administration*
  • Pharmacy*
  • Professional Role


  • Narcotic Antagonists
  • Naloxone