SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The drug Narcan is now available to purchase without a prescription after being approved for over-the-counter earlier this year by the Food and Drug Administration.
Having the first opioid overdose treatment being sold without a prescription and having it available on store shelves is a huge step for places like San Francisco. The city continues to battle overdoses and deaths caused by fentanyl and other opioids.
Preliminary reports from the health department show there were 349 overdose deaths in San Francisco during the first five months of 2023.
Narcan has a price point of less than $50 with Walgreens selling it for $44.99. Some argue the price is too high and could be out of reach for those who may need it most.
Despite the cost, the brand used the most to reverse overdoses is Narcan. However, the FDA has green lit a competing drug which is expected to hit store shelves in 2024 for around $20 less, with two doses for around $36.
There is a state bill by Hayward Assemblymember Liz Ortega that would require insurance companies to cover the full cost of Narcan. That bill is currently awaiting full approval by California officials.
In the meantime, some insurances say they will pay and others may not.