Overdose-reversal spray could soon be over-the-counter 2023

WCSO & DTF both in favor of change

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Approximately every 8 minutes, on average, a person dies from an opioid overdose, according to NARCAN.com.

Due to such high numbers, NARCAN manufacturers are seeking FDA approval to sell the overdose-reversal nasal spray over the counter.

In 2021, over 10,000 Americans died from drug overdose deaths, according to the CDC.

The Warren County Drug Task Force says NARCAN has become a literal lifesaver in recent years due to widespread opioid and synthetic opioid (Fentanyl) usage. 

BG/WC Drug Task Force Director Tommy Loving said, “Fentanyl investigations and fentanyl drug buys this year has quadrupled over the last year. And it’s really scary the way we’re headed.”

Currently, NARCAN is a prescription product, however, every state allows pharmacists to prescribe the nasal spray – bypassing doctor prescriptions altogether.

However, NARCAN manufacturer Emergency BioSolutions wants to see even more accessibility and availability. According to National Public Radio, Emergency BioSolutions CEO Bob Kramer revealed the FDA has now agreed to fast-track its application to sell Narcan over the counter without a prescription.

“This is, unfortunately, the next logical step to make Narcan more available,” said Loving. “With the way things are today [making NARCAN over-the-counter] is probably not a bad thing.]

Our Warren County Sheriff’s Office has administered more and more amounts of NARCAN as opioid overdoses have risen. And they too say they’re in favor of making the spray over the counter. 

WCSO Chief Deputy Kevin Wiles said, “In that sort of a medical emergency, that’s probably a good thing.”

But some are already questioning if this solution is a problem in and of itself…asking, ‘Won’t having NARCAN on hand enable more opioid abuse?”

Wiles says, “The downside of that doesn’t compare to the positive side of saving a life. For somebody that has an addiction to opioids, this could keep that from happening.”