Local experts disagree with FDA’s methods of selling Narcan

Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 6:38 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PEORIA (25News Now) - The FDA approved Wednesday an over-the-counter version of the overdose-reversing drug Naloxone (commonly known as Narcan).

But in their effort to make Narcan more available to the public, local experts say the $50 price tag for two doses is unreasonable. Especially for those in poverty.

Plus, two doses may not be enough to save someone in crisis.

“That’s way out of reach for a lot of people,” said Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood. “If it’s that expensive, it’s just going to create problems, create barriers and further push people away from being able to obtain it.”

But for a community like Peoria that has seen addiction across every demographic, Chris Schaffner of Jolt Harm Reduction said this life-saving drug must be affordable, if not free.

“This is going to create a disparity between people who have and people who don’t,” said Schaffner. “So that’s either an unintended or an intended consequence, depending on how you look at it. It could cause some serious problems.”

Jamie Harwood says the price alone isn’t the issue. It’s pharmaceutical companies taking advantage of people and resources.

“They spike the prices for something that is probably two dollars a dose, and then they’re charging fifty dollars a dose for something they really could be easily obtained from other people,” said the coroner.

Jolt Harm Reduction said home-grown pharmacies have the choice of whether or not they will supply over-the-counter Narcan. He believes some will not because of the negative stigma behind helping drug users.

More information on how to obtain Narcan from Jolt Harm Reduction can be found on their website.