The Washington State Standing Order to Dispense Naloxone (PDF) is equivalent to a naloxone prescription for people in Washington state. It authorizes a pharmacist to dispense naloxone to any eligible person or entity in Washington.
An eligible person or entity is:
- Any person at risk of an opioid-related overdose.
- Any person or entity in a position to assist a person at risk of opioid-related overdose, including family members, friends, or acquaintances of an individual at risk for overdose.
- Emergency services professionals, police officers, school officials and others who could be able to respond to an opioid overdose.
There is NO age restriction on who can receive naloxone from a pharmacy. Children and youth can be the first responders to an opioid-related overdose in the home. When dispensing naloxone, pharmacists will list the provider who signed the standing order. Current prescriber information:
Dr. Tao Kwan-Gett, NPI #1225130941,
Washington State Department of Health, Center 1,
101 Israel Rd. S.E., Tumwater, WA
Pharmacists may print out the standing order and assign a prescription number to use it as a written prescription.
Answers to frequently asked questions about the statewide standing order are on our website.
Discussing Naloxone with Patients
Anyone can purchase and/or carry naloxone to help respond to an overdose. It is not just for people with an opioid or other substance use disorder. Having naloxone available allows bystanders to help save lives by preventing a fatal overdose.
- Use non-judgmental language to reduce stigma associated with naloxone and opioid use.
- Describe naloxone as a tool to save the life of a friend or family member who uses opioids.
- Naloxone is a lifesaving medication, much like an EpiPen® is a lifesaving medication for allergic reactions.
- Identify situations where offering naloxone may be appropriate to reduce risk of overdose; including, but not limited to: history of opioid prescriptions, high MME prescriptions, opioids co-prescribed with benzodiazepines or other sedating medications.
- Educate patients about the risks of mixing opioids and other depressants, sedating medications, and alcohol.
Naloxone Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Does patient eligibility need to be determined in order to dispense naloxone using the standing order?
People who ask for naloxone do not need to be screened for opioid use or overdose risks in order to receive a naloxone kit.
- Does the patient have to be 18 years or older to get a naloxone prescription using the standing order?
There is no age restriction. Pharmacists and pharmacy staff should give naloxone administration instructions appropriate for children, youth, and adults and use clinical judgement to determine patient understanding.
- How many naloxone kits can a patient receive at a time?
The standing order allows for five kits (two doses per kit) of naloxone to be distributed per transaction. Refills are available per patient request.
- Do patients need to provide a physical copy of the standing order to get naloxone?
A printed copy of the standing order is not required to receive naloxone. We recommended patients be prepared with a copy just in case.
- Will running naloxone through insurance affect a patient’s coverage or premium?
The Washington Office of the Insurance Commissioner prohibits naloxone prescriptions from affecting coverage or premiums (RCW 48.18.480 and 48.30.300).
Washington Recovery Help Line (Tel: 1-866-789-1511)
You may bill insurance for naloxone, though some insurers may not cover more than one kit at a time. For patients with Medicaid, there is no copay for naloxone and no limit on the number of kits someone can obtain in a year. The ArrayRx Discount Card can be used to provide discounts on prescription drugs for people who do not have insurance or who need copay assistance.
Other Ways to Get Naloxone
If a patient wants a naloxone kit but decides not to obtain one at a pharmacy or cannot afford it, they can find a community location for naloxone. People living in Washington state can request free naloxone by mail. The mail order program is meant for people who can't easily go to a community organization or a pharmacy to get a kit.
Find more information about legal and regulatory issues related to naloxone in Washington and the Office of Insurance Commissioner’s memo clarifying that coverage and underwriting decisions cannot be based on whether someone has a prescription for naloxone.