Narcan, a medication that can reverse opioid overdoses, is now available on some store shelves and online without a prescription. Major pharmacy chains like CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart say they’ll have the product available for customers in stores nationwide this week. Walmart and CVS are already selling it online for just under $45 for two doses. Furthermore, smaller drug and pharmacy stores, as well as some grocery stores, are also planning to offer this potentially life-saving medication.

As previously reported by Emily’s Hope, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made a significant move in March by granting approval for the over-the-counter sale of Narcan. This decision comes as the United States grapples with its deadliest drug epidemic in history, with nearly 110,000 Americans losing their lives to drug overdoses and fentanyl poisoning in 2022 alone.

While Narcan is the pioneer of over-the-counter opioid overdose reversal drugs, competition is on the horizon. The FDA has given the green light for another drug, RiVive, to be sold without a prescription. RiVive, which is a naloxone spray, is expected to hit store shelves in early 2024, and it’s anticipated to be available at a price point roughly $20 lower than Narcan.

Some health officials have raised concerns regarding the affordability of Narcan for those who need it most. In the past, when Narcan was solely accessible by prescription, it was often covered by most public and private insurance plans, as well as Medicaid. However, the criteria for coverage typically apply to prescription drugs, not over-the-counter products. To tackle this issue, The New York Times reports that several states, including Missouri, California, Massachusetts, Washington, Rhode Island, and Oregon, have taken steps to ensure that Medicaid will cover Narcan without necessitating a prescription, helping to make this life-saving medication accessible to those who need it most.