(HealthDay News) — Narcan (naloxone), a lifesaving medication that reverses opioid overdose, will be available on US drugstore shelves and online starting next week.

People who want to carry Narcan, the nasal spray version of naloxone, will be able to find it at Walgreens, Rite Aid, Walmart, and CVS for a suggested retail price of $44.99 for a box of two doses, the drug maker reported Wednesday. The US Food and Drug Administration approved the overdose antidote by manufacturer Emergent BioSolutions in March in response to record numbers of overdose deaths, largely due to powerful synthetic drugs like fentanyl.

“We think really everyone should be thinking about putting this into their first aid kit,” Walgreens Chief Medical Officer Kevin Ban, MD, told CNN. “It’s really unlimited in terms of the folks who should make sure that they get some naloxone in the off chance that they come across someone who was experiencing an overdose. This is a way to reverse that overdose. It’ll save people’s lives.”

Most US states already had standing orders to allow pharmacies and other qualified organizations to provide this antidote without a prescription for those at risk, but this announcement provides even more availability. Community groups, first responders, state and local governments, and harm reduction groups will be able to purchase Narcan for a cheaper price than the general public, at $41 per two-dose carton starting Thursday, the manufacturer said. CVS plans to offer Narcan for sale behind its pharmacy counter, as well as at the register and for order via pickup and delivery. Walmart and Rite Aid plan to sell it in pain care aisles. Walgreens will stock shelves with cards that someone can bring to a register to access the actual medication, CNN said.

Injectable naloxone is still available by prescription at a much lower cost.

CNN Article