FDA approves over-the-counter overdose-reversing Narcan

By Regence
March 29, 2023

Ongoing opioid crisis linked to more than 100,000 deaths in the U.S. last year

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration this week approved selling Narcan – the leading form of the opioid overdose-reversing drug naloxone – without a prescription. The drug’s manufacturer plans to have Narcan available for sale over the counter by summer. Other brands of naloxone and injectable forms could soon follow.

Pharmacies in every state could already sell naloxone without a prescription, but this change allows the drug to be sold in places without pharmacies, such as convenience stores, supermarkets and online retailers. Officials hope the FDA decision will make it easier for people to access the life-saving drug. It’s estimated that there were more than 100,000 opioid-related deaths just last year across the U.S.

The ongoing opioid crisis has prompted many experts to recommend anyone who is currently taking opioids, or interacts with anyone who does, should carry naloxone. Even if you’re taking prescription opioids as directed by your provider, it’s a good idea to have the overdose reversal drug on hand.

Check out this website for help finding naloxone products near you. You can also read more about opioids and available resources on regence.com.

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Many Regence plans include a naloxone benefit that covers naloxone products with no out-of-pocket costs. Other Regence plans cover a portion of the cost for naloxone with a small co-pay. Sign in to your account at regence.com or call us at the number on your member ID card to learn more about your coverage options.