Evaluation of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme subsidised take home naloxone pilot

This report presents the final evaluation findings, covering the pilot in NSW, SA and WA from commencement on 1 December 2019 up until 30 June 2021.

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Evaluation of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme subsidised take home naloxone pilot

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Publication date:
Last updated:
Publication type:
Report
Audience:
General public
Language:
English
Description:

The Australian Government is investing in a take home naloxone (THN) pilot in New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia to make naloxone available free to people who may experience, or witness, an opioid overdose from community and hospital-based pharmacies and other sites.

The Government contracted the University of Queensland to undertake an evaluation of the pilot. 

The evaluation used a mix of data collection activities to address the key evaluation questions and will inform considerations for a future national rollout.

The evaluation found that during the pilot:

  • streamlining access by making naloxone available for free to people who may either experience, or witness, an opioid overdose without the need to get a prescription from a General Practitioner improved uptake of this life-saving medicine by consumers
  • availability through a broad range of access sites also improved access to naloxone for consumers
  • over 43,000 units of naloxone were distributed to individuals during the pilot
  • take home naloxone was used at least 1,649 times to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose or adverse reaction
  • take home naloxone saved up to an estimated 3 lives per day, which includes both improvement in prognosis and reductions in mortality.
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