Narcan/Pharmacy Bill a Good Idea?

The Philadelphia Department of Health says 75 percent of Philadelphia’s estimated 400 pharmacies already carry Narcan. Only 100 don’t.

CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens all carry it, I’m told by Health Department spokesperson Jim Garrow, and they are everywhere.

What’s more, since June 2017, the Health Department has handed out 57,000 doses, free of charge.

That’s free to the user. The city pays $75 for a two-dose kit and distributes it to first responders, says Garrow, “and community organizations that have regular contact with the population that needs this medication.” So Henon’s bill isn’t necessary, because anyone who wants Narcan can easily get it.

By Stu Bykofski

Editorial on Pending Council Bills about Opioids

The success of these efforts will depend on the enforcement of these regulations, which would fall to the Department of Public Health.
The impact of these bills will probably not be huge; in fact, both bills are rather innovative and so far untested. But when people are dying daily, Council should signal it’s taking it seriously by exploring other legislative solutions on such issues as expanding access to treatment and regulation of recovery houses.  Enacting these two bills would be a first step.

By Inquirer Editorial Board

2018 2nd Quarter Overdose Deaths

Overdose deaths between April and June rose by about 11 percent compared with the previous two quarters.
“This still represents a kind of leveling-off in opioid-related fatalities over the last three quarters,” said Kendra Viner, manager of the Philadelphia Health Department’s opioid surveillance program. “The bad news is that we’re not seeing the decline in fatalities we’d really like to see. And if this trend continues, we’ll probably end 2018 with maybe just under the total number of fatalities that we saw in 2017.”

By Aubrey Whelan

Philadelphia’s Public Health Lab

Philadelphia has had a public health lab since 1894, when the City created the Division of Pathology, Bacteriology, and Disinfection, working right in City Hall.  In those early days of the new science of bacteriology, the lab focused on two main killers of the day, diphtheria and tuberculosis, and it produced antitoxin for diphtheria.  Ever since then, our lab has been providing crucial information to public health staff on what invading species are circulating in the city and how we can keep them at bay.

Preventing Childhood Lead Poisoning

Lead poisoning is a serious health issue for many young children and their families. Lead has been shown to be particularly harmful to children between the ages of nine months and six years.  The only way to know for sure if a child has been poisoned is to get the child tested for lead.

Enjoying a Healthy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is all about family, friends, and food, but for many of us, it can also be a challenge to our attempts to stay healthy. It may seem like it’s impossible to enjoy Thanksgiving without ending up consuming huge amounts of fat, sodium, and sugar, but here are a few tricks to make your holiday a bit healthier without taking away the foods you love:

Pharmacies Not Stocking Naloxone

“We’re trying to make carrying Narcan, unfortunately, just a normal part of what people do,” city Health Commissioner Thomas Farley told me. He said the department still fields complaints from customers who can’t find it on the shelves of pharmacies.

By Mike Newall