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June 24, 2016

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Kroger to offer heroin anti-overdose drug without prescription

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John Minchillo / AP

A Naloxone nasal injector is demonstrated during a news conference at the Oakley Kroger Marketplace store to announce the supermarket chain’s decision to offer the opioid overdose reversal medicine without a prescription, Friday, Feb. 12, 2016, in Cincinnati.

CINCINNATI — Ohio-based grocery chain Kroger Co. is making the heroin overdose-reversal drug naloxone available without a prescription in its pharmacies across Ohio and northern Kentucky.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, joined Kroger officials at a Cincinnati store for Friday's announcement. Kroger says 200 pharmacies will offer naloxone over the counter within days.

CVS said recently it soon will offer naloxone without a prescription at its Ohio pharmacies, which state regulators have allowed.

Ohio fire crews use naloxone thousands of times a year to revive opioid overdose victims. Ohio overdose deaths jumped 18 percent rise in 2014, one of the nation's sharpest increases.

Cincinnati-based Kroger is the nation's largest traditional grocer and has 2,774 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 35 states and the District of Columbia.

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