NEW YORK (FOX5NY.COM) - More than 700 pharmacies across New York City teamed up with the Health Department to provide naloxone without a prescription. But a New York Times report revealed only about a third actually had the overdose-reversing drug and would dispense it without a prescription.
Fox 5 News went to the Health Department to get some answers.
"In actually a minority of stores were completely unaware that they could dispense naloxone and were participating in this program without a prescription," Assistant Health Commissioner Hillary Kunins said.
We contacted Duane Reade on 84th Street and were told by that we needed a prescription for naloxone.
The CVS/pharmacy on 96th Street and Lexington Avenue told us we could purchase the nasal spray over the counter for $40.
Kunins said the Health Department is calling or visiting the drugstores to remind pharmacists and staff of the rules of the program.
Since last July, the Health Department has distributed 70,000 naloxone kits to 150 registered opioid-overdose prevention programs across the city for free.
In response to our story, CVS sent a statement.
"While we make every effort to meet patient demand for naloxone, if it is not in stock at the time of a request, it can be ordered for the next business day," CVS said.
The city and participating pharmacies say they're both committed to making the lifesaving drug available. But the question is will people be able to get it when they need it?