US Food and Drug Admin. Approves Over-the-Counter Narcan

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The Facts

  • On Wednesday, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Narcan, a drug used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, for over-the-counter use.

  • The move makes Narcan the first naloxone-based drug to be purchased without a prescription and will align the federal government's stance with states that already offer Narcan at pharmacies without a prescription.

The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

This approval of the over-the-counter availability of Narcan will help improve access to this life-saving drug, increase the number of locations where it can be accessed, and help reduce opioid overdose deaths throughout the country. The opioid crisis is devastating the US, and this move is an important starting place for getting people quality treatment for substance use disorders.

Establishment-critical narrative

While this is an important step toward addressing the opioid crisis in the US, many barriers to access may still exist for individuals experiencing drug addiction. If the cost of over-the-counter Narcan is too high, as it has been previously, many people will still not be able to access this life-saving drug.

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