Rogers in favor of FDA’s approval of first over-the-counter naloxone spray04/14/23 03:00:pm
Rogers applauds the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the first over-the-counter naloxone spray, asserting that it will save thousands of lives and reduce stigma.
Announced by the FDA on March 29, Narcan, 4 mg. naloxone hydrochloride nasal spray is the first naloxone product approved to use without a prescription.
“This new advisory from the FDA will save lives on a daily basis and reinforces that substance use disorder impacts millions of lives,” says Michelle Maloney, PhD, system clinical director of Mental Health and Addiction Recovery. “Given the opioid epidemic, I encourage all of us to always carry it with us so we could help a family member, friend, or neighbor.”
Naloxone is a medication that reverses the effects of opioid overdose rapidly and is the standard treatment for opioid overdose. The FDA’s action clears the way for the life-saving medication to be sold directly to consumers in drug stores, convenience stores, grocery stores, gas stations, and online.
The FDA approval comes at a time when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released provisional data that showed 101,751 reported U.S. fatal overdoses in the 12-month period ending in October 2022, while the predicted number of fatal overdoses for that period is even higher at 107,689.
“As we think about stigma, if someone walked into a drug store and needs to ask a pharmacist for naloxone, that could deter them from purchasing it,” Dr. Maloney explains. “Whereas now, over-the-counter use makes it much more obtainable and eliminates any shame someone may have in asking for it.”
At this time, Dr. Maloney says cost remains the most significant variable and potential barrier. According to the FDA, the manufacturer determines the price and timeline for availability. The cost for naloxone is between $30 to $100 on GoodRX, but Dr. Maloney shares that products can increase or decrease in price when they are made available for over-the-counter use.
Meanwhile, naloxone is available at every Rogers site, and all employees are required to complete a course on how to administer it as part of their orientation and annual trainings.
If you would like to take the course again, you may find it in Rogers University by searching “Opioid Overdose and Narcan Administration.” You may also download the attached fact sheet to learn more about overdose symptoms and prevention tips.
“Naloxone is easy to administer, and you don’t need to be 100% certain the person is suffering from an opioid overdose,” says Stephanie Eken, MD, chief medical officer. “It will not cause any adverse effects if the symptoms are caused by a different health issue.”