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Californians can now buy Narcan in pharmacies

Time to Read: 3 minute
Californians can now buy Narcan in pharmacies
Californians can now buy Narcan in pharmacies
Khushbu Kumari

The drug can reverse an overdose of opioids such as heroin and fentanyl

Starting this month, the medicine known as Narcan is on sale without a prescription for the first time in the United States.

In March, the administration The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the over-the-counter sale of this medication in the form of a nasal spray.

Narcan is the brand name of naloxone that is used to reverse an overdose of opioids such as heroin, fentanyl and prescription opioid medications.

Naloxone is not addictive, non-habit forming, and has no side effects if opioids are not in the system.

In the United States,Paramedics and hospitals have been using naloxone to reverse opioid overdoses for decades.

Normally, it could only be used by prescription, but now it can be purchased in pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores and also online.

“We currently see nearly 7,000 Californians dying each year from opioids. “That’s why this decision to make Narcan available without a prescription is a sensible way to increase access to life-saving solutions.” said Robin Christensen, Branch Chief of Substance and Addiction Prevention at the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

CDPH responsibilities include infectious disease control and prevention, food safety, environmental health, laboratory services, patient safety, emergency preparedness, chronic disease prevention, and health promotion. health, family health, health equity, and vital records and statistics.

For many people, the price of naloxone may be a discouragement from purchasing it, specifically for people who are more you might need the medication. Currently, the manufacturer's suggested price is $44.99, which has two doses in each box.

Bill AB-1060 by Liz Ortega, Assemblywoman for the 20th District in California, would require coverage of prescription and non-prescription naloxone hydrochloride (commonly known as naloxone or by its most common brand name, Narcan), with no cost sharing for the treatment of opioid overdoses.

If AB-1060 is approved, then it would apply to the health insurance of 24,853,000 California enrollees (64% of all Californians).

CDPH will continue to maintain its statewide standing order, which has helped countless community organizations receive naloxone at no cost through the Department of Health Services' Naloxone Distribution Project.

On the CDPH website, they have videos informative about naloxone and even instructions to learn how to use it.

NEXT Distro is an online and mail-based harm reduction service designed to reduce opioid overdose deaths, prevent the transmission of injection-related diseases, and improve the lives of people who use drugs.

The organization started in New York state, but has since expanded to provide services throughout the country.

Currently, they have a service where they send free naloxone to any address in the USA. The NEXT mailing program is made possible by a partnership of more than 30 harm reduction programs nationwide.

Their NEXT Distro website explains: If a person who uses drugs or someone in your community uses drugs and cannot access naloxone any other way, they are designed to support you.

Although Naloxone may help people who currently use opioids, some people think it may have the opposite effect in the community.

“It can be useful because it can help people, but at the same time it can also promote consumption of drugs, because now we have a way to recover from it," said Yareli Herrera, criminology student.

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