Little Five Points Pharmacist Making Community A Safer Place: Ira Katz Named First Champion For Opioid Safety
ATLANTA (March 5, 2020) – A Little Five Points pharmacist was recently recognized as a Champion for Opioid Safety by the Georgia Pharmacy Foundation. Ira Katz, RPh, owner of Little Five Points Pharmacy, received the designation after completing a series of educational programming aimed at reducing opioid-related overdoses. He was the first pharmacist in Georgia to complete the program.
“It all started with my connection with a local needle exchange operation and the need to provide opioid education and naloxone (Narcan) to whoever needed it,” Katz said.
Naloxone is a drug that reverses opioid overdoses.
“Anyone who wants Narcan can walk up to our pharmacy and get it. We give it away for free,” Katz said. “I can’t tell you how many people have come back over the years and said, ‘Thank you for the Narcan, I was able to save someone’s life. There have been several instances where we have administered Narcan and CPR to people who had overdosed near the pharmacy.”
Opioid overdoses killed more than 47,000 people in 2017, according to the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The National Safety Council recently released a rearranged cause of death report, saying more people are likely to die in the United States from an opioid overdose than gun violence or car accidents.
In addition, we also provide both Fentanyl & Xylazine test strips at a nominal fee.
Hundreds of lives have been saved because of the program that we offer here at Little Five Points Pharmacy.
“The bottom line is that many people within greater Atlanta know that they can count on Little 5 Points Pharmacy for education about opioid safety as well as how to administer Narcan which we provide at no charge,” Katz said.
Katz estimates he has dispensed more than 10,000 units of Narcan to local businesses and restaurants, and the local community to help with the crisis.
The Georgia Pharmacy Foundation just launched its “Champions” program to help pharmacists and their teams implement opioid safety best practices to fight opioid misuse in their own communities.
Mike Crooks, Pharm.D., who chairs the Opioid Safety Workgroup for the foundation, said new processes pharmacists may learn include counseling patients who receive opioids on how to administer naloxone.
Ira Katz opened Little Five Points Pharmacy 39 years ago. He received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Emory University and a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from St. John’s College of Pharmacy. He was a recipient of the 2019 Bowl of Hygeia award, commemorating his service to the profession and the community. The award recipient is selected annually through state pharmacy associations and recognized for making unique contributions to a strong, healthy community through service and personal leadership. The award remains one of the most notable achievements for pharmacists.
About Georgia Pharmacy Foundation
The Georgia Pharmacy Foundation is the nonprofit arm of the Georgia Pharmacy Association, which represents the state’s pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and their patients. The foundation’s mission is to advance the quality of healthcare for patients in Georgia communities through the profession of pharmacy. For more information and the latest pharmacy news, visit GPhA.org or follow the organization on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram.