New Mexico requires co-prescription of opioid reversal drug

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is requiring that many opioid prescriptions for pain relief come with a second prescription that can reverse possible overdoses.

A law that went into effect this month requires co-prescriptions of opioid overdose-reversal medication such as naloxone to accompany any opioid prescription that last five days or more.

Lindsay LaSalle of the Drug Policy Alliance said Tuesday the law may save lives by increasing distribution of overdose-reversal medications that are unfamiliar to many people.

New Mexico already makes naloxone available at pharmacies without prescriptions. The new law takes a more aggressive approach by requiring safety briefings to first-time opioid patients about overdose risks.

Thom Duddy of Emergent BioSolutions that produces a naloxone nasal spray called Narcan says opioid prescriptions are likely to decrease in New Mexico as a result.