Another province lifts restrictions on naloxone
Saskatchewan is following the lead of B.C. and Alberta by becoming the third province in Canada to unschedule the life-saving medication naloxone.
Naloxone, which reverses the effects of an opioid overdose, will be more widely available in Saskatchewan now after a bylaw change made by Saskatchewan’s College of Pharmacy Professionals.
Naloxone was previously listed as a Schedule II Drug, meaning that it was only available from a pharmacist. It was kept behind the counter to ensure pharmacists provided individuals with training on how to administer the drug before purchasing a kit.
The change now allows naloxone to be issued without the involvement of a pharmacist and in locations other than pharmacies, making it easier for individuals to access takehome naloxone (THN) kits and for community-based organizations (CBOs) who work with individuals at risk of an opioid overdose to distribute kits to their clients.
“We want to ensure naloxone is available where and when it is needed without barriers,” Health Minister Jim Reiter said in a news release. “This change allows our CBOs to play a key role in getting THN kits into the hands of individuals at risk.”
The Ministry of Health and the Saskatchewan Health Authority will work with key CBOs to provide THN kits in the coming weeks.
It is important to note that even after naloxone is administered, further medical treatment is required. Call 9-1-1 immediately if an overdose is suspected.