FDA’s Advisory Committee Approves Narcan Without RX

The life-saving antidote to an overdose of Narcan is one step closer to being easily obtained by the general public.

The board of independent Food and Drug Administration advisors voted to make the nasal spray available over-the-counter.

Elizabeth Coykendall, a temporary voting member on the FDA’s advisory council and paramedic at PM Pediatrics in Raleigh, North Carolina, told CNBC, “There is no need to keep this as a prescription; let’s get it out there and save some lives.”

*Image source: Pexels

A final decision has not been reached by the agency, but they are expecting to have a definitive answer by March 29. Emergent BioSolutions, the producer of Narcan, said the spray would be available for purchase by late summer if it wins FDA approval.

Naloxone, the generic version of Narcan, is already available in all fifty states and is already supplied over the counter in response to the high increase in overdose deaths in recent years. Individuals seeking the treatment are not required to possess a prescription.

CNN quoted Dr. Kirk Evoy, a clinical associate professor of pharmacology at the University of Texas at Austin, saying, “Allowing it to be supplied over-the-counter in the same method in every state really clears up some uncertainty and, hopefully, some red tape.”

If the FDA removes Narcan from its list of prescription medications, it might become available at vending machines, supermarkets, and convenience stores in addition to pharmacies.