Skip to content

Baldwin Applauds Approval of First Opioid Overdose Reversal Drug Available Over-the-Counter

Baldwin recently led bipartisan group urging big drug manufacturers to apply for over-the-counter status for overdose reversal drugs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) is applauding the Biden administration for approving an opioid overdose reversal drug for over-the-counter (OTC) use, the first of its kind to be approved for use without a prescription. Senator Baldwin has long advocated for increased access to overdose reversal drugs, leading a bipartisan group of 29 colleagues last year in urging seven big manufacturers of naloxone to apply for OTC status to help increase access and save lives.

“Every community across Wisconsin is feeling the impact of fentanyl, the opioid epidemic, and substance use disorder crisis, and we have to do more to save lives. I have long advocated for tackling this crisis from all angles – combating drug trafficking, increasing prevention efforts, increasing access to treatment, and also making the safe, life-saving drugs that reverse overdoses and poisonings easy to get,” said Senator Baldwin. “I applaud the Biden administration’s announcement that a naloxone product will be available over-the-counter without a prescription and now encourage the drug makers to ensure it's affordable and accessible.”

Today, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved over-the-counter Narcan, an easy-to-use naloxone nasal spray that rapidly reverses the effects of opioid overdose. Today’s action paves the way for the life-saving medication to be sold directly to consumers in places like drug stores, convenience stores, grocery stores, and gas stations. Despite the effectiveness of naloxone to reverse active opioid overdoses and the FDA’s public support for making the product available over the counter, the medication was not available over the counter because drug manufacturers resisted applying.

Senator Baldwin also recently passed parts of her Naloxone Access and Education Act to increase states’ and Tribal communities’ access to life-saving opioid overdoses reversal drugs.