Phoenix doctor, pharmacist endorse Narcan generic but express price concerns
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — If the FDA approves Narcan as an over-the-counter drug, it will be as accessible as aspirin, not only in pharmacies but grocery stores, too. You might not know, but places like Melrose Pharmacy can prescribe you naloxone (Narcan’s generic name) on the spot and charge it to your insurance provider. A request that surprisingly comes few and far between for owner and pharmacist Teresa Dickinson at a time when 3,300 people suffered from non-fatal overdoses in 2022, according to the state health department.
“There is definitely an awareness issue — that we have to let people know that Narcan is available in naloxone,” Dickinson says. The FDA is now reviewing a proposal that would make the life-saving drug available over the counter. “The potential to have naloxone over the counter is huge,” says Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Holly Geyer, addiction medicine specialist. “This is going to reduce the stigma because people have to ask the pharmacist for this medication. They might be judged. More importantly, this won’t just be available in pharmacies, it will also be available at your local Walmart, potentially, or Target.”
But there is a concern between Dickinson and Dr. Geyer that this ruling would make the drug more expensive, whether it’s insurance dropping the coverage or pharmaceutical companies jacking up the prices for an over-the-counter product. “That might be the biggest barrier to get these out in the community,” Dr. Geyer says. Approval from the FDA could happen later this year, but if you or someone you know needs the life-saving drug, you or they could get it at a neighborhood Pharmacy. “As long as its covered, we can get it to the patient,” Dickinson says.
For tips on how to use naloxone, click here to learn more.
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