A new article in the MJA by members of the NNRG outlines the importance of allowing over-the-counter (OTC) purchase of naloxone to help curb the recent rise in deaths from opioid overdose.
The authors write: “[t]imely naloxone administration is crucial for preventing morbidity and mortality associated with opioid overdose. Wider access, through making the drug available OTC, is a positive step towards reducing morbidity and mortality.”
For the effective implementation of OTC supply of naloxone, the authors suggest the OTC product must include needles for administration and a product leaflet which provides clear instructions to lay people on how to administer naloxone.
To overcome cost and prescribing barriers to providing wider access to naloxone, the authors recommend that state and territory health authorities explore ways to directly provide naloxone through take-home naloxone (THN) programs in a cost-effective manner.
“We recommend…regulatory changes that allow current THN programs to dispense naloxone directly to their clients”Simon Lenton, Paul Dietze & Marianne Jauncey