Following a spate of recent heroin overdoses in Vermont, Gov. Peter Shumlin says any Vermont pharmacy may now dispense a drug to treat opioid overdoses without a prescription.
The state Department of Health has issued a standing order for naloxone known by the brand name Narcan for all of Vermont.
Shumlin said Thursday that he's pleased that Walgreens will offer naloxone without a prescription starting Sept. 1.
Investigators in Barre believe a dangerous batch of heroin, probably laced with fentanyl, caused nine overdoses, including one fatality, on a recent weekend.
Reports to the Health Department show that naloxone has been used at least 241 times this year as of June 30. During the same time, the Health Department has confirmed 44 deaths from heroin, fentanyl, prescription painkillers or a combination.