Pharma

Walgreens’s opioid antidote is now available

Walgreens-brand Narcan is now available for $10 less.
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Walgreens has released its own brand of naloxone, a medication that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.

Available online now, Walgreens Brand Naloxone HCl Nasal Spray comes with two doses for $34.99, about $10 cheaper than the name-brand version, Narcan. The over-the-counter medication will also be available in stores by the end of May in the pain aisle, according to a press release, making the life-saving nasal spray more accessible.

In March 2023, the FDA approved an over-the-counter designation for Narcan, made by Emergent BioSolutions in Maryland. FDA Commissioner Robert Califf said in a statement at the time that the new designation “will help improve access to naloxone, increase the number of locations where it’s available, and help reduce opioid overdose deaths throughout the country,” Healthcare Brew previously reported.

About 645,000 people have died between 1999–2021 from opioid-related drug overdoses, including prescription and illegal drugs, according to the CDC.

Now, with a cheaper off-brand option available, the medication is expected to become even easier to purchase.

Priya Mammen, senior medical director in Walgreens’s clinical integrity office, said in a statement that “expanding access to naloxone is a critical step in empowering individuals, families, and communities to act and be part of the solution.”

Walgreens is still paying $5.7 billion dollars in settlements after being accused of contributing to the opioid epidemic by mishandling medications.

At the time of the settlements in 2022, Walgreens said that it would “make positive contributions to address the opioid crisis,” including working on its own brand of naloxone.

Navigate the healthcare industry

Healthcare Brew covers pharmaceutical developments, health startups, the latest tech, and how it impacts hospitals and providers to keep administrators and providers informed.