Narcan could possibly be made available over the counter

Published: Feb. 22, 2023 at 10:03 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - People could soon have access to a life saving drug used by first responders all around the state.

The Food and Drug Administration’s independent advisors now unanimously recommending over-the-counter access to Narcan.

Dr. Julia Boothe, President of the Medical Association for the State of Alabama, applauds the recommendation and believes that the decision will save lives.

According to a report from the Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program, Fentanyl overdose deaths in Alabama are soaring. They are up 136 percent between 2020 and 2021, with 1,069 people dying just last year due to fentanyl.

Those shocking numbers are a huge reason why Dr. Boothe stresses the nasal spray first responders use, should be made available to all.

“I think it is super important just to increase access. That is our goal in our state. We have already done some things in the past year with the Jefferson County Public Health Department offering Narcan. You essentially watched a video on how to use it, and then they would ship you two doses. So this will just further offer more people and places that will have Narcan,” said Dr. Boothe.

The FDA is not required to accept the advisors’ recommendation, but the agency is expected to decide by March 29. If approved next month, Narcan could be available for the over-the-counter market by late summer.

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