NALOXONE: Why Isn’t it Over-the-Counter?


Who knows how things would be different now if Naloxone was available like aspirin was on the night when Mikhaila overdosed and died.  Let’s take a look at why it is that a drug so safe and effective in reversing the effects of opioid drugs including overdose is not available to those that need it.  I think we’ll find we need to rethink what is important to us as a society.


  • Availability of naloxone will increase…risk behaviour. (1

  • Naloxone distribution goes against the dominant abstinence-only rehabilitation model.(4)

  • A physician’s direction is needed when using the drug. (2)

  • (Research) is not based on good scientific data…(but on) what some people would consider the right thing to do.” (3)


  • Drug Companies: can make more money elsewhere (5)

    • Naloxone is off-patent (When a drug company first markets a drug, it is usually under a patent that, until it expires, allows only the drug company that developed the drug to sell it and therefore able to set the price of the drug at a level which maximizes profitability.)

    • Medicare and most private insurance do not pay for over-the-counter medications

  • Private Investors: High risk, Low return (5)

    • Current entire US naloxone injectable market is $22 M – very small market

    • Development costs could exceed this amount taking many years of work

(1) National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine

(2) Time: Health and Family

(3) Dr. Bertha Madras, deputy director, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy


(5) Daniel Wermeling, Pharm.D. Professor, University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy. President and CEO, AntiOp, Inc. AntiOp Inc.

3 thoughts on “NALOXONE: Why Isn’t it Over-the-Counter?

  1. Pingback: Big Pharma Company Jacks Up Price of Overdose Live Saver by 1100%: Now, More People Will Die | Talesfromthelou's Blog

    • Thank you for visiting Chasing Mikhaila. I hope you found the site informative and looking forward you visiting again soon!


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