Headline RoundupMarch 29th, 2023

Overdose Reversal Drug Narcan Approved For Over-The-Counter Sale

Summary from the AllSides News Team

The Food and Drug Administration approved over-the-counter sale of Emergent BioSolutions Inc's Narcan nasal spray, a drug commonly used to reverse opioid overdoses.

Key Quotes: FDA Commissioner Robert Califf issued a statement on the approval, stating it will “help improve access to naloxone, increase the number of locations where it’s available and help reduce opioid overdose deaths throughout the country. We encourage the manufacturer to make accessibility to the product a priority by making it available as soon as possible and at an affordable price.” The Associated Press quoted Chuck Ingoglia of the National Council for Mental Wellbeing stating the approval “represents a decisive, practical and humane approach to help people and flatten the curve of overdose deaths.”

For Context: Naloxone, the key ingredient in Narcan, is a fact-acting treatment for overdoses from opioids such as heroin and fentanyl. Over 100,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2021. Narcan will be the first naloxone drug to become available without a prescription. It was approved for prescription sale in 2015. Emergent BioSolutions expects the drug will be available on store shelves and online by late summer of this year.

How The Media Covered It: Outlets across the spectrum reported on the approval. The reported price of prescription Narcan differed, with Reuters listing the price of a two-pack of Narcan as “about $120,” and Fox Business and the Associated Press listing two doses costing “around $50.” The over-the-counter cost is not yet known.

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