Naloxone May be Available in Canadian Pharmacies Without a Prescription in 2016


Food and Drug Law
Food and Drug Regulatory LawHealth Canada has fast-tracked a review of prescription-only naloxone. Naloxone reverses fentanyl overdoses. Fentanyl overdose cuts off oxygen to the brain and heart, killing the user in minutes. From 2009-2014, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse found that fentanyl caused or contributed to one death every three days across Canada. Health officials have been urging the federal government to make the drug easily accessible in pharmacies across the country. This is the first time that Health Canada has initiated a study to consider removing the prescription status of a drug in response to a public health concern (typically, drug companies seek status changes). Health Canada is optimistic that naloxone will be available in pharmacies without prescription by mid-2016.

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