Stigma, awareness still play role in whether pharmacies dispense Narcan

Narcan, a lifesaving overdose-reversal medication, has become a primary weapon for first responders, families and addicts on the front lines of Indiana’s battle against opioid addiction.

But Indiana University researchers say only 1 in 4 Hoosier pharmacists have dispensed Narcan, or naloxone, even though 58 percent of pharmacies stocked the medication and half of all pharmacists have said they are comfortable dispensing it.

So why have so few pharmacists actually supplied Narcan to those in need? Experts point to three factors: cost, stigma and the possibility that customers are not looking for Narcan at pharmacies.