Soon You’ll Be Able to Buy Narcan Over the Counter

Photo: Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images/Boston Globe via Getty Images

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday that it has approved over-the-counter sales of Narcan, making the overdose-reversal drug much more accessible to the public. The spray could be available without a prescription as soon as late summer.

In a statement, FDA commissioner Robert Califf said the agency is “committed” to addressing the nation’s opioid crisis, citing the “dire public-health need” as reason for approving the drug.

Narcan, produced by Emergent BioSolutions, is a naloxone hydrochloride nasal spray that is used to quickly reverse an overdose from opioids such as fentanyl, heroin, and certain prescription drugs. It is frequently carried by first responders, but as overdose deaths have soared around the country, there’s been a push to expand its accessibility, as well as educate Americans on how to administer the drug. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there were approximately 107,622 overdose deaths in the United States in 2021.

All 50 states and Washington, D.C., allow Narcan but have varying levels of access; some states have already passed legislation to make the drug easier to obtain without a prescription. There are also concerns about its cost. The Washington Post reports that a two-pack of over-the-counter Narcan generally costs around $47 at a discounted price, but that it can be as high as $73 without insurance.

Soon You’ll Be Able to Buy Narcan Over the Counter