Under a new proposal, San Francisco could require naloxone, a drug that reverses overdoses, at pharmacies.
San Francisco would be the first city in the country to require this. Currently, the drug is supposed to be available at pharmacies upon request.
According to a secret shopper study produced by the San Francisco Department of Public Health discovered that 20% of pharmacies did not carry naloxone even though they were required to have it when requested.
San Francisco Supervisor Matt Dorsey proposed the legislation to require the pharmacies to stock a minimum of two sprays of the drug. If not in compliance, pharmacies could face fines between $250 and $1,000.
Dorsey said, “it is an important step we can take to maximize its availability and save lives.”
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of San Francisco cites that there were 647 overdose deaths in 2022 compared to an increase of 346 deaths in 2023.
The director of population behavior at the San Francisco Department of Public Health emphasizes the importance of having naloxone available, according to an interview conducted by Associated Press.
“We want all San Franciscans, no matter where they live, no matter where they work, to be able to go to their pharmacy and get it and so this measure removes one more barrier to everyone having access to this life saving medication,” said Dr. Jeffrey Hom.
The Federal Drug Administration or the FDA recently approved Narcan, a brand name version of naloxone, that will be approved for over-the-counter use sometime this summer.