Opioid overdose reversal drug, Narcan, should be available over-the-counter next week. Narcan’s manufacturer, Emergent BioSolutions, announced Wednesday that it has shipped its product to leading mass, drug/pharmacy, and grocery stores, as well as online retailers. 

As Emily’s Hope reported earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration approved Narcan for over-the-counter sales in March. The decision came as the United States is battling its deadliest drug epidemic in history, with around 110,000 Americans dying from drugs in 2022.

Emergent BioSolutions has also revealed a suggested retail price of $44.99 for a two-dose box of Narcan. However, some health officials are concerned about the affordability of this price point for those in need. Previously, when Narcan was available solely by prescription, it was often covered by most public and private insurance, as well as Medicaid. However, the coverage criteria typically applied to prescription drugs, not over-the-counter products. To address this, The New York Times reports that some states, including Missouri, California, Massachusetts, Washington, Rhode Island, and Oregon, have announced that Medicaid will cover Narcan without requiring a prescription.

While Narcan will be the first opioid overdose reversal drug to be sold over the counter, there will be more competition soon. The FDA also approved a second drug, RiVive,  to be sold without a prescription. RiVive is a naloxone spray that is expected to hit store shelves in early 2024. Meanwhile, other forms of naloxone, including those with higher concentrations and a generic version, remain available through prescription.