The drug Narcan (naloxone) is sometimes used as a way to counter opioid overdoses. Up until now, it’s only been available with a prescription from a doctor, which has severely restricted the number of people who could access the potentially lifesaving medicine.
However, a recent FDA decision means that manufacturers will be able to sell Narcan over the counter, making it possible for more people who need it to get hold of it.
Now that the drug has been approved, it could be on pharmacy shelves very soon, as well as being available for online purchase from certain online pharmacies.
Pharmacies will sell Narcan in two doses of 4mg each. The price will be decided by retailers, but many have pledged to keep the prices as reasonable as possible to increase access to the drug—the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $44.99 for two doses, or $22.50 per dose.
In a statement, Dr. Bonnie Milas, a physician at Penn Medicine, said “As a medical professional and a mom who experienced the unthinkable and lost both of her sons to accidental overdose, I know you can’t put a price on peace of mind and there is no act too great to protect a family.
Picking up Narcan Nasal Spray at the store is not a sign that your family has ‘a problem.’ In fact, it shows that you are prepared just in case. It’s like buying a fire extinguisher to have at home – having the power to save a life of someone you love, someone you know, or someone who may need another chance.”
Paul Williams, senior vice president at Emergent BioSolutions, a manufacturer of Narcan added: “A steadfast commitment to expanding access to naloxone has always been at the forefront of our work to help save lives and we’re proud to bring Narcan Nasal Spray to many, many more places.”
So far, five major retailers – Walgreens, Walmart, CVS, Rite Aid, and Kroger – have said they will sell Narcan in their pharmacies for $44.99. Experts expect that as the rollout begins, it will become widely available in stores and online.