"The large increase in opioid overdose episodes has prompted the provinces to design programs to provide greater access to naloxone at the site of the overdose, either through first responders or “take-home programs”. These programs are hindered by the prescription status of naloxone. The provinces and territories have collectively asked Health Canada to re-evaluate the status of naloxone." - Health Canada
The big news on Health Canada's decision finally broke on March 22, 2016. Effective immediately, Naloxone will be available in Canada without a doctors prescription!
While this is amazing news and an undeniable step forward, the battle is far from over. In order to make Naloxone's change in prescription status as impactful as possible, we absolutely must continue to reduce the barriers currently in place that prevent Naloxone accessibility. A report entitled "Prescription For Life"outlines several steps that need to be taken in order to ensure Naloxone reaches those who need it most. The first recommendation being to add Naloxone to the Provincial, Federal and Veterans formularies in order to make the drug affordable. Even if Naloxone is available over-the-counter, if it is not affordable to those who need it, it can't save lives.