Hy-Vee along with the Minnesota Department of Health in a joint press release this morning announced that naloxone or sometimes known as Narcan is now available without a prescription at Hy-Vee pharmacies in Minnesota. Hy-Vee pharmacists may now dispense naloxone without a prescription through a physician-signed protocol. The Minnesota Department of Health is providing this protocol to Hy-Vee.

Naloxone can be administered to a person who has overdosed on a wide range of opioids include morphine, oxycodone, codeine or heroin. More than 42,000 people died in 2016 from opioids. Naloxone is intended to assist a person who suffers an opioid overdose until emergency or long-term treatment is provided. It should not be considered a cure.

It's available in nasal spray and injection forms. Minnesota becomes the sixth state in Hy-Vee's eight-state region to offer naloxone without a prescription. Previously the only way to obtain naloxone with through a doctor or other prescriber followed by a trip to the pharmacy.