Narcan (naloxone) is now available for purchase over the counter (OTC), without a prescription, in all U.S. states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.
Naloxone is a nasal spray that delivers an opioid antagonist medication, which has been shown to be effective in temporarily reversing an overdose.
Emergent BioSolutions, the Maryland pharmaceutical company that manufactures Narcan, told FOX Business that each individual pharmacy will determine the availability of the product in their stores.
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“We have shipped them [the] product, or are in the process of doing so, and they will determine when and where it appears,” an Emergent spokesperson said in an email.
CVS is offering Narcan for OTC purchase online at cvs.com and through its CVS Pharmacy app, a company spokesperson told FOX Business via email.
For customers who wish to have added privacy, CVS offers Narcan via delivery or through buying online and then in-store pickup.
The product will be available for $44.99 and is HSA/FSA eligible.
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“All CVS pharmacists are trained on how naloxone works and can provide education and counsel to patients prior to purchase,” the CVS spokesperson said.
“Other types of naloxone continue to be available, without an individual prescription, at our pharmacy counters nationwide,” the company said.
“We also hope the FDA’s approval of over-the-counter naloxone will lead to more naloxone products in the marketplace to help ensure affordable access for customers.”
Walgreens has also announced that Narcan will be available at its stores and online as soon as Sept. 5, with nationwide availability by Sept. 7.
The retail price will also be $44.99 at Walgreens.
Narcan will be located at the front register and pharmacy counter, a Walgreens spokesperson told FOX Business.
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“The intent is to make this lifesaving drug easily accessible for customers,” the spokesperson said.
“For those purchasing from the pharmacy counter, this helps facilitate conversation between Walgreens’ pharmacists and customers, allowing them to address questions in real time around the new product. ”
Narcan is intended to be used in the event of a drug overdose to temporarily reverse the effects of opioids.
It works by counteracting life-threatening depression of the central nervous and respiratory systems, allowing overdose victims to breathe normally again, according to a Walgreens press release announcing the product’s rollout.
In the press release, Kevin Ban, M.D., executive vice president and Walgreens chief medical officer, noted that the pharmacy chain is “committed to educating and making it easier for all Americans to have this life-saving medicine available in their first aid kits in case of an emergency.”
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“We all must recognize that overdoses can happen to anyone, regardless of age, background or other factors,” he continued.
“As a leading health care company, providing access to OTC naloxone creates an opportunity for bystanders, friends and family members to potentially save a life. In the event of an overdose, every second matters.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Narcan nasal spray for OTC use on March 29.
“The FDA remains committed to addressing the evolving complexities of the overdose crisis,” said FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, MD, in the approval announcement.
“As part of this work, the agency has used its regulatory authority to facilitate greater access to naloxone by encouraging the development of and approving an over-the-counter naloxone product to address the dire public health need.”
Narcan was initially approved by the FDA in 2015 as a prescription drug.
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