Exploring the perceived barriers and facilitators to equitable access of Naloxone in Durham Region: A pilot study
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Through exploratory case study research, we examined naloxone distribution from community pharmacies and perspectives of service providers about barriers and facilitators to equitable access of naloxone through the Ontario Naloxone Program (for Pharmacies) in Durham Region, Ontario, Canada. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on access was also explored. Results from an environmental scan questionnaire (N=8) found that for community pharmacies, naloxone was available whenever requested and access was unchanged by pandemic conditions. Key informant interviews and demographic surveys (N=2) completed with service providers found perceived facilitators for equitable access included uninterrupted operations during the pandemic, and naloxone being available without cost and prescription. Integrating opioid prescribers into programs was recommended. Perceived barriers identified included stigma a lack of awareness of the programs. This study serves as a potential precursor to conducting a larger study to further explore equitable access to naloxone by program users across Ontario, Canada.