At $40 or $50, over-the-counter Narcan may be unaffordable for people who need it most

By Mark Brodie
Published: Monday, September 18, 2023 - 10:32am
Updated: Monday, September 18, 2023 - 2:30pm

Audio icon Download mp3 (11.4 MB)

Narcan nasal spray product package
Meg Potter/Cronkite News
Narcan nasal spray is used by first-responders to treat people who have overdosed on opioids.

The first opioid overdose reversal medication to be sold over the counter is starting to show up on pharmacy shelves.

Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration approved selling Narcan without a prescription as the medication is seen as a life-saving one. Several pharmacies have started selling it, but some advocates worry about the price. It generally costs between $40 and $50 for a two-dose set. California lawmakers, meanwhile, are close to approving a proposal to cap the price at $10.

The Show spoke about Narcan’s potential, and its price with James Hodge, a professor of law at Arizona State University's Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, and director of the Center for Public Health Law and Policy there. The conversation began with Hodge's reaction to the fact that Narcan is now over the counter and how its cost may play into how many people have access to it.

James Hodge
Arizona State University
James Hodge

More stories from KJZZ

Business Science The Show Health + Medicine