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The FDA Approves Over-the-Counter Naloxone To Address Overdose Crisis

Vital Strategies Applauds Overdue Change and Urges Private and Public Insurance To Cover Lifesaving Intervention and State Governments To Continue Funding Free Naloxone

Today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved selling certain forms of the opioid reversal drug naloxone without a prescription to address the country’s overdose crisis that took more than 108,000 lives last year. Later this summer, naloxone nasal spray could become available at supermarkets, gas stations and convenience stores around the country. Harm reduction advocates have been pushing for naloxone over-the-counter availability for years. 

Statement from Daliah Heller, Vital Strategies, Vice President of Drug Use Initiatives: 

“The FDA’s decision to allow naloxone to be sold over the counter will saves lives and is to be celebrated. Access to naloxone is one of five key interventions to address the spiraling overdose crisis. We must continue to ensure that other barriers to widespread naloxone access such as affordability, insurance coverage, and the prescription-only status of other formulations like injectable naloxone are also addressed. This includes a continued commitment by states to fund free naloxone access. We must also continue to improve access to other harm reduction interventions such as: fentanyl test strips and other drug checking tools, access to syringes and safer use supplies, methadone and buprenorphine access, and overdose prevention centers, to drastically reduce tragic overdose deaths.”

Related News:

Yesterday, Vital Strategies announced that the Pennsylvania Department of Health is extending their real-world testimonial ad campaign to highlight naloxone as a lifesaving harm reduction strategy.The campaign features stories from five people who have been affected by substance use to emphasize why everyone should get naloxone today. The real-world testimonial approach of the ads also works to counter stigma around drug use that may keep people who use drugs from seeking support. Campaign materials were developed in collaboration with public health organization Vital Strategies.   

About Vital Strategies 

Vital Strategies is a global health organization that believes every person should be protected by a strong public health system. Our overdose prevention program works to strengthen and scale up evidence-based, data-driven policies and interventions to create equitable and sustainable reductions in overdose deaths. Work across seven U.S. States is supported by funding from the Bloomberg Philanthropies Overdose Prevention Initiative,  launched in 2018, and by targeted investments from other partners.  

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Media Contacts    

Tony Newman; 646-335-5384  

Gloria Malone