MOUNT HOPE, WV (WVNS)–The Food and Drug Administration approved the first ever over-the-counter opioid overdose reversal drug on Wednesday.
The drug, Naxolone, is more commonly known by its brand name, Narcan.
The FDA’s approval will drastically increase public access to a life-saving medication.
Narcan previously needed a prescription and had to be bought at a pharmacy, but the new accessibility could greatly reduce opioid overdose deaths.
Misty Woodard, administrative director at Veltex Recovery Group, said she supports this both professionally and personally as someone familiar with substance use disorder.
“I can completely understand the devastation that addiction has, but the only way to stop that and have a chance at life is to offer recovery– and you can’t offer that to somebody that’s not breathing,” said Woodard.
While a price is not yet determined, Narcan will be available over-the-counter by late summer, according to the manufacturer Emergent BioSolutions.