Narcan Now Available Over-the-Counter
Narcan (4 mg nasal spray naloxone) is now available over-the-counter. At this time, the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services (Iowa HHS) does not anticipate any changes to currently supported initiatives that provide free nasal spray versions of naloxone. In fact, Iowa HHS is currently working on new initiatives that will hopefully expand availability of free nasal spray naloxone. More information about these initiatives is coming soon!
FDA Approves Narcan Over-the-Counter
On March 29, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Narcan, the 4 mg naloxone nasal spray, for over-the-counter use. The manufacturer of Narcan, Emergent BioSolutions, is currently working on switching Narcan from prescription to OTC status. The exact date that Narcan will be available OTC is currently unknown, but officials are hopeful for a late Summer or early Fall release. Once this happens, pharmacies across the nation, including in Iowa, will need to develop protocols for making Narcan available in their pharmacy.
At this time, Narcan is the only version of naloxone approved by the FDA for OTC status, but it is expected that other naloxone nasal sprays will apply for OTC status. Please note, the State Opioid Response (SOR) grant will continue supporting established naloxone distribution initiatives in Iowa.
Narcan Expiration Dates
The FDA approves the extension of the shelf life of Narcan (naloxone HCL) Nasal Spray from 24 to 36 months. However, all products are still subject to the expiration dating printed on its specific package.
Pharmacy Dispensing Resources
In July 2020, the IDPH and the Iowa Board of Pharmacy announced that community pharmacies in Iowa may begin to submit electronic claims for reimbursement of NARCAN nasal spray. Pharmacies will be reimbursed 100% of the drug cost + a $20 dispensing fee. Learn more about Iowa's NARCAN Dispensing Program
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