The Federal Food and Drug Administration has approved Narcan, the first antidote for opioid overdose that can be accessed without a prescription. Narcan is a nasal spray containing Naloxone, a medication that quickly reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.
According to the FDA, there were 101,750 fatal overdoses in the United States in 2022. In the same year in Florida, 6,442 people died from opioid overdoses.
This new FDA directive means Narcan can be available on shelves without having to ask a pharmacist, which critics say had said stopped people who feared being stigmatized or embarrassed if they asked. The product would come in a package containing two doses of four milligrams, just in case the recipient does not respond to the first dose.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre said: “This is news that will literally save lives. It is a critical tool that has saved thousands of lives and now the FDA is making this life-changing medicine more accessible to more people across the country.”
Narcan is expected to be widely available by late summer, according to Emergent BioSolutions which is the company that produces NARCAN, but there is no information yet on how much it will cost.