Could Fentanyl-busting Narcan be sold over the counter? FDA fast-tracks review of application

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given Narcan, also known as Noloxone, priority review status.

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Thursday, December 8, 2022
Could Fentanyl-busting Narcan be sold over the counter soon?
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A key medication to help revive people suffering from a fentanyl overdose may soon be sold as an over-the-counter drug.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A key medication to help revive people suffering from a fentanyl overdose may soon be sold as an over-the-counter drug.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given Narcan, also known as Noloxone, priority review status, which will speed up it's possible approval as a drug anyone can purchase without a prescription.

Narcan is manufactured by Emergent BioSolutions and it's described by the company as a potentially life-saving opioid overdose reversal medication.

When a person overdoses on fentanyl or other opioids, the drug can cause that person to stop breathing. Narcan works by blocking the opioid receptors in the body, allowing that person to resume breathing.

"I cannot see why this drug shouldn't be approved for over the counter use," said Dr. Andrei Dokukin, an addiction specialist in Long Beach. "Narcan is inexpensive, easy to use, easy to administer, it should be available."

Now that Narcan has received priority review, the FDA will have to decide it's OTC status faster than it does for standard applications.

The deadline for a decision is now March 2023.