- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 3, 2016

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine Sen. Angus King is asking the CVS pharmacy chain to make it easier for people in the state to buy a drug that revives people who overdose on heroin.

King wrote in a letter to the company Tuesday that naloxone is a critical tool in the fight against opioid deaths, and allowing people to buy the drug without a prescription would save lives. Heroin overdose deaths in Maine increased from 34 in 2013 to 57 in 2014, King said in his letter. He called the jump a “harrowing trend.”

CVS Health on Monday announced it would make naloxone available without a prescription at all CVS stores in Ohio. The company has done the same in more than a dozen states, including Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

CVS spokesperson Erin Shields Britt told The Associated Press that the company will work with King and state leaders to evaluate how to bring its naloxone program to Maine. CVS has 22 stores in the state.

The pharmacy chain would be the first in Maine to make naloxone available without a prescription, according to King’s office.

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