This article discusses the recent approval of the first over-the-counter naloxone nasal spray for use in reversing opioid overdoses. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first over-the-counter (OTC) naloxone nasal spray, Narcan, to help prevent opioid overdoses. The nasal spray is intended for use in adults and adolescents, and the FDA recommends that it be kept on hand as part of an opioid overdose response kit. The FDA also encourages healthcare professionals to consider prescribing Narcan in addition to opioids.
Like many measures undertaken by the government to curb the opiate crisis, they seemingly fail to miss the mark and almost appear to be little more than virtue signaling. Measures such as the MATE Act – forcing prescribers to undertake more continuing education to renew their DEA permits – do very little to address the root of the problem. In the case of the FDA approval of OTC naloxone, the high cost of this intervention may very well limit it’s usefulness.