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OHCA Removes Physician Visit Requirement for Naloxone, Hosts Vending Machine With ODMHSAS

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Media Contact: 
Emily Long, Public Information Officer
405-401-5290 | 

OHCA Removes Physician Visit Requirement for Naloxone, Hosts Vending Machine With ODMHSAS

These new initiatives expand access to life-saving opioid overdose treatment

Oklahoma City, OK – SoonerCare now includes coverage for various naloxone products without requiring a physician visit. Members can get naloxone products from SoonerCare contracted pharmacies with a standing order that allows pharmacies to start a prescription, provide the medication and receive reimbursement.

Additionally, in collaboration with the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS), a public-access vending machine with Naloxone and Fentanyl Test Strip Kits is available at the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) office, located at 4345 N. Lincoln Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK 73105.

"These changes underscore OHCA’s dedication to SoonerCare members' health and safety and our commitment to reducing overdose deaths and addressing substance use challenges in our state," said Ellen Buettner, OHCA Chief Executive Officer. "We're grateful for the opportunity to partner with ODMHSAS to make life-saving medication more accessible.”

Naloxone is an opioid antagonist which can reverse and block the effects of opioids. Fentanyl Test Strips are small strips of paper that can detect the presence of fentanyl in various types of substances. Both are available to all Oklahomans statewide, free of charge.

Accidental overdose is now the leading cause of death for people in the U.S. under age 50. In 2020 alone, drug overdoses increased by 31%, with nearly 92,000 lives lost that year. More than 70% of these overdoses were driven by opioids, including synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. Since 2020, more than 12,000 SoonerCare members have accessed Naloxone through pharmacies.

“Our hope is that people are educated about substance use disorders and that they understand what free, live-saving resources are available within reach,” Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Commissioner Carrie Slatton-Hodges said. “We believe each Oklahoma household can benefit from having essential tools like these Naloxone and Fentanyl Test Strip Kits on hand, as most of us know a friend or loved one who has been affected by accidental overdose.”

The CDC reports that nearly 40% of overdoses had a bystander present who could have intervened, conveying the importance of ensuring all Oklahomans have access to these life-saving resources.

Since installation, the vending machine at the OHCA offices has distributed more than 50 Naloxone kits and more than 40 Fentanyl Test Strip Kits.

The life-saving opioid antagonist is available with no copay and does not count toward a SoonerCare member’s monthly prescription limit.

For more information on the vending machines and access to resources, visit


Last Modified on Aug 30, 2023