FDA approves Naloxone for over-the-counter use
FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) — Narcan, a lifesaving drug which reverses the effects of opioid overdoses, is now readily available for users over the counter.
People can grab the item at convenience, grocery, and drug stores.
Narcan has been useful in counteracting drugs like fentanyl.
“At the end of the day, the message to people who have drug addiction is that treatment is going to be the best thing for you. The idea that Narcan might save your life, it very well may, but it also may not. Narcan is just one thing that might help where there is fentanyl, but if xylazine, or some of these other drugs that have been added, Narcan might not even help to counteract it.” says Brian Melton, Clay County Attorney
Officials say the cost of the new over the counter drug is still uncertain.
“Cost definitely can be a barrier and it currently is a barrier, even if people do have insurance, sometimes insurance doesn’t cover all of it or enough of it. People can be paying well over 100 dollars for Narcan. So, we are really concerned that the cost of the over-the-counter product is less than what it currently is through prescription.” says Robyn Litke Sall, Prevention Coordinator, Fargo Cass Public Health
Other important drugs like Adderall have seen shortages, but hopefully Narcan will not do the same.
“We are hoping for the manufacturers of Narcan and even perhaps a generic Narcan is going to keep up with the demand and that we won’t run into shortages. We are hoping that does not happen because that could be a big problem if it did.” says Litke Sall
She adds Naloxone helped save more than 450 lives at the Harm Reduction Center in 2022.