Local harm reduction groups praise approval of over-the-counter Narcan

Southside Harm Reduction Services of Minneapolis, Minnesota is applauding the FDA approval of over-the-counter Narcan.

The group says while they have some concerns over cost and training, they believe increasing access to the overdose-reversing medicine is a positive move.

"We believe naloxone should be easily accessible and everyone should have naloxone on them. So anything that increases access is really good," said Southside Harm Reduction Executive Director Jack Martin. 

The manufacturer has not announced what the medicine will cost. There is concern that with it becoming over-the-counter, insurance will no longer cover it.

"[Insurance companies] typically have policies where they don’t pay for over-the-counter items. I think this should be an exception," said the director of retail and specialty pharmacy with Allina Health Tim Gallagher. "The insurance companies should pay for it. Minnesota Medicaid should pay for it."

Martin said they will continue to offer Naloxone free-of-charge, for those who don’t feel comfortable buying it at a store or can’t afford to do so. He also encourages anyone in possession of Narcan to attend their free training on how to recognize a potential overdose and how to properly administer the drug.

Over-the-counter Narcan is expected to be on store shelves by this summer.