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Frequently Asked Questions for Pharmacists on Naloxone Dispensing



GUIDANCE FOR PHARMACISTS ON NALOXONE DISPENSING AND DISTRIBUTION.  As pharmacists know, the past three years have brought substantial change to North Carolina law governing the dispensing and distribution of naloxone.  These changes, intended to increase access to naloxone for vulnerable patients and caregivers, are often the subject of inquiries to BOP staff – particularly concerning North Carolina law authorization for certain organizations to distribute naloxone.  Amanda Fuller Moore, NC DHHS Division of Public Health Pharmacist, has coordinated with DHHS officials and BOP staff to produce this guidance chart, which pharmacists will find helpful as they develop their approaches to naloxone dispensing and distribution:




Acting State Health Director Kelly Kimple, MD has updated the statewide standing order for naloxone to authorize participating pharmacies to dispense intramuscular injection formulations.  The updated standing order is found here:



Q: What is North Carolina's law on dispensing naloxone under a standing order?

A: As pharmacists are aware, North Carolina law permits the dispensing of naloxone pursuant to standing orders. The North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition (“NCHRC”) has put together an FAQ document that walks pharmacists through the “Good Samaritan” law’s provisions on naloxone dispensing, the use of standing orders, where pharmacists can obtain standing orders, and other highly useful information.  Board staff encourages pharmacists to review the NCHRC document, which may be found here.

MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2016 - STATE LAW ESTABLISHING STATEWIDE STANDING ORDER FOR NALOXONE DISPENSING SIGNED INTO LAW ON MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2016.  The North Carolina General Assembly has passed, and Governor McCrory has signed into law, a bill that will allow the State Health Director, Dr. Randall Williams, to issue a statewide standing order for naloxone dispensing – a standing order that any pharmacy in North Carolina may use. This standing order will allow any licensed North Carolina pharmacist who chooses to participate to dispense naloxone to patients who are at risk of an opioid overdose or to their friends or family members or to people in a position to help them.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (“NC DHHS”) has set up a website to educate pharmacists and the public about the statewide standing order. It may be found at www.naloxonesaves.orgPharmacists and pharmacies should review the information on the website immediately.

The website includes instructions for pharmacies that wish to dispense under the standing order to notify NC DHHS that they intend to do so. Pharmacies dispensing under a standing order (whether through the State Health Director or through their own standing order) will be listed on the website after contact information is provided to DHHS.

There is likely to be significant media attention to the new law and members of the public may approach your pharmacy to obtain naloxone through the standing order. If you have any questions about the standing order that are not answered by the website, you may contact Board of Pharmacy staff or Anna Stein, DHHS Legal Specialist (



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