Life-Saving Drug Narcan To Be Available Over-The-Counter As Soon As Next Week

Narcan manufacturer Emergent BioSolutions has announced that the first doses of the over-the-counter naloxone will be available in retail stores and online as soon as next week.

Carrying the Narcan brand name, the medicine will have a suggested retail price of $44.99 per unit, which includes two doses in a single carton, according to a press release from the company.

The first stores and online retailers to offer the live-saving product will include Walgreens, Rite Aid, Walmart, and CVS, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the drug for over-the-counter sale in March.

The decision was driven by record-high deaths as a result of opioid overdoses in the United States. According to the CDC, 75% of drug overdose deaths in 2020 involved an opioid. These harrowing circumstances are largely attributed to illegally manufactured fentanyl.

Narcan, which is a nasal spray version of the generic drug naloxone, can revive a person from overdose in minutes.

While excited that the drug will be available sans prescription, harm reduction advocates have remained critical of the medication’s high price point, for both individuals and community groups.

As part of the retail sale announcement, Emergent BioSolutions also said that it will lower Narcan’s bulk price for community groups, first responders, governments, and harm reduction groups to $41 per two-dose carton. 

The price for this quantity was $75 when the company acquired the product in 2018 and has been incrementally lowered over the past five years.

Another naloxone nasal spray, RiVive, will join Narcan on over-the-counter shelves in early 2024 at a price of $36 per two-dose carton.

Featured image from Narcan.

Written by
Peter Volpe

Journalism student at The Ohio State University who loves beeps and boops!

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