Community pharmacy Naloxone emergency holding service: equality impact assessment

This publication provides the results of an Equality Impact Assessment on the Community Pharmacy Naloxone Emergency Holding Service.

Community Pharmacy Naloxone Emergency Holding Service: Equality Impact Assessment – results

Title of Policy

Community Pharmacy Naloxone Emergency Holding Service

Summary of aims and desired outcomes of Policy

To implement national arrangements for all community pharmacies to hold stocks of naloxone for supply and administration in an emergency.

Directorate: Division: team

CMO Directorate: Pharmacy and Medicines Division: Pharmacy Branch

Executive Summary

The policy intention is to implement national arrangements for all community pharmacies to hold stocks of naloxone. All community pharmacies will hold at least two naloxone kits which they can supply and administer in emergencies.


The National Mission on Drugs includes Scotland’s National Naloxone Programme (NNP), set up in 2011 to prevent fatal opioid overdoses. Administration of naloxone provides time for emergency services to arrive and for further treatment to be given.

The Drug Death Taskforce report, published July 2022, contained an action that all community pharmacies should hold naloxone for administration in an emergency and should supply take home naloxone to people who use drugs, families and anyone likely to witness an opioid overdose.

This action will be progressed in two phases 1) supply and administration of naloxone in an emergency to commence in October 2023 and phase 2) take home naloxone to be a future phase with the details still to be further agreed.

The desired outcome is to increase access to naloxone in the community and reduce the occurance of drug deaths.

The scope of the EQIA

The scope of the Equality Impact Assessment was to identify which groups would be adversely affected by the policy.

Key Findings

Implementing emergency holding in every community pharmacy will expand access to naloxone, contributing to the National Naloxone Programme aim to reduce the occurrence of fatal opioid overdoses.

The service will be available to everyone and will increase access to naloxone in local communities for those who need it. Naloxone can be supplied to anyone who needs it, although in terms of administration to children and young people, there are product licensing restrictions based on the patient's age.

There is no other specific evidence of barriers relating to the protected characteristics.

Recommendations and Conclusion

We will work with NHS National Services Scotland and Public Health Scotland to develop a process for regular monitoring and to review the usage of this service.



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