What are the consequences of allowing Naloxone sales over the counter? Elizabeth Tracey reports


Naloxone is pivotal in reversing opioid overdoses, and now the FDA has decided it can be sold without a prescription, so-called over the counter. Michael Fingerhood, a substance use disorder expert at Johns Hopkins, says there could be substantial downsides to this decision.

Fingerhood:  it's a two pack for $45 and the fear is now that a lot of the sources of free Naloxone gonna go away. It is true that things like Medicaid cover but even there it's a cost and for people with commercial insurance it's unlikely that they're going to have naloxone sitting around in their house if they have to pay any amount of money for it. Sounded good that it probably should be over the counter as a medication that has no reason to have risk and it's usually administered to someone who doesn't receive the prescription, so it makes sense but at the same time there could be a negative in that I think there's going to be less free naloxone out there.     :33

Fingerhood notes that Naloxone is easy to administer and has saved millions of lives that may have been lost to opioid overdoses, so he’s in favor of getting it into more hands that can help. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.