Emergent, the company that produces the overdose-reversal drug Narcan says it plans to sell the nasal spray product for less than $50 when it becomes available over-the-counter (OTC) later this year.
The company said its goal is to match the price that government agencies, nonprofit organizations and first responders pay on average.
"A goal for the out-of-pocket retailer price is to be consistent with our public interest pricing for one carton of two 4 mg doses, although retail price is set by individual retailers," Emergent said in a statement. "Our pricing for both public interest groups and retailers would be significantly less than the current Wholesale Acquisition Cost."
The wholesale price for a two-dose kit is currently $125.
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the drug last month to be sold directly to consumers without needing a prescription.
Narcan, also known as naloxone, is a medication used primarily by paramedics, police officers and firefighters to rapidly reverse an opioid overdose. It works by blocking the effects of opioids in the brain, which can help restore normal breathing and prevent death. It is also increasingly being carried by community organizations, harm reduction programs and schools.
Emergent said the drug is expected to become widely available over-the-counter by late summer, but more work needs to be done to combat the ongoing opioid epidemic in the U.S.
"OTC availability is one of several elements that can help to remove barriers to naloxone," the company said. "But the magnitude of the opioid epidemic requires additional support and pathways to access."
The U.S. reports more opioid deaths than any other country in the world and the Centers for Disease Control says drug overdoses contributed to more than 106,000 deaths in 2021 alone — more than 20 times what it was two decades ago.
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