Fatal opioid-related overdose is a leading case of accidental death in North America, with more than 70,000 opioid-related deaths occurring in Canada and the United States in 2018 alone. Naloxone, an opioid antagonist, is able to reverse the effects of opioids and prevent overdoses from becoming fatal.
In June 2016, the Ontario Government introduced the Ontario Naloxone Program for Pharmacies (ONPP), authorizing community pharmacists to provide naloxone kits to all Ontario residents free of charge. The ONPP was modified in March 2018 to: 1) allow pharmacies to distribute intranasal naloxone, and 2) remove the requirement for individuals to present a valid government health card in order to receive a naloxone kit.
This study examines whether changes implemented to the program in March 2018 impacted the distribution of naloxone through the ONPP in Ontario.
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