John Minchillo / AP
Friday, Feb. 12, 2016 | 9:53 a.m.
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.