Multiple federal agencies have made expanding access to
naloxone a national priority. Approximately 28% of
Medicare Part D beneficiaries with new opioid use were
prescribed high doses of prescription opioids. Previous
research has found that Medicare paid for an increasing
share of naloxone prescriptions from 2016 to 2018 and
pays for 1/3 of all naloxone dispensed from retail
pharmacies as of 2018.
This brief examines trends in Medicare-paid naloxone
dispensing rates in nonmetropolitan versus metropolitan
areas from 2014 to 2018. This brief uses IQVIA National
Prescription Audit data including three-digit ZIP codes
of pharmacies, dispensing counts for all 50 states and
the District of Columbia, and payer type information.