The number of naloxone prescriptions in the United States increased from 2017 to 2018, but far too little of the opioid overdose–reversing drug is being dispensed, particularly in rural areas, where it is needed the most, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report released in August.
"It is clear from the data that there is still much needed education around the important role naloxone plays in reducing overdose deaths," CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, MD, said in a statement at the time.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January announced it had developed and validated a drug facts label for naloxone, something a company normally would have to do in bringing an over-the-counter (OTC) product to market. The goal, then-FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, said in a statement, was to "jump-start the development of OTC naloxone products to promote wider access to this medicine."
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