General Information is a website designed to educate pharmacists and the public about South Carolina’s law allowing pharmacists to dispense Naloxone to persons without a prescription pursuant to a Joint Protocol issued by the South Carolina State Board of Medical Examiners (BME) and the South Carolina State Board of Pharmacy (BOP). Additionally, the website is intended to provide education about Naloxone use and overdose prevention, offer a method for pharmacies to notify BOP when initiating their participation in Naloxone dispensing without a prescription, and gather voluntarily-provided information about Naloxone use and attempts to reverse overdoses.

On June 5, 2016, former Governor Nikki Haley approved Bill H5193, amending the South Carolina Overdose Prevention Act, to give the BME and the BOP six months to issue a joint written protocol authorizing a pharmacist to dispense Naloxone without a prescription to a person at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose or to a caregiver of such person. Prior to this amendment, Naloxone could only be dispensed by a pharmacist pursuant to a written prescription or standing order by a licensed prescriber.

On November 17, 2016, the BME and BOP issued Joint Protocol to Initiate Dispensing of Naloxone HCI without a Prescription, which authorizes any pharmacist practicing in the State of South Carolina and licensed by the BOP to dispense specified Naloxone Hydrochloride products to persons without a prescription under certain conditions. A pharmacy’s participation is voluntary.

Persons eligible to “voluntarily request” Naloxone from a pharmacist include:

  • Persons who are at risk of experiencing opioid-related overdose
  • The caregiver of a person at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose

Persons who are at risk of experiencing opioid-related overdose, include, but are not limited to:

  • Current illicit or non-medical opioid users or persons with a history of such use
  • Persons with an opioid prescription, especially those who have:
    • known or suspected concurrent alcohol abuse
    • COPD or other respiratory illness or obstruction or currently smoke
    • renal dysfunction, Hepatic disease, cardiac disease, or HIV/AIDS; or
    • concurrent Benzodiazepine prescription
  • Persons from an opioid detoxification and mandatory abstinence program
  • Persons entering methadone maintenance treatment programs (for addiction or pain)
  • Persons who may have difficulty accessing emergency medical services