Walgreens offering cheaper version of opioid reversal drug

May 15, 2024

Walgreens is set to offer a cheaper version of an important opioid reversal drug at its stores soon, according to Wednesday press release.

“Walgreens today announced it is expanding access to an over the counter, life-saving medication with the launch of Walgreens Brand Naloxone HCI Nasal Spray,” reads the press release from Walgreens’ parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Walgreens’ version of the drug is $34.99, according to the release, which the parent company says is “a lower price than the comparable national brand product at Walgreens stores.” 

“The product is currently available online and will be chainwide in all stores by the end of the month, where it can be found in the pain aisle, providing a critical point of access for the nearly 10 million customers and patients the company serves every day in local communities throughout the U.S.,” the release states.

“Walgreens Brand Naloxone HCl Nasal Spray can be used in the event of an opioid overdose to temporarily reverse the effects of opioids – including heroin, illicit fentanyl, and prescription opioid medications—when administered in time,” the release continues.

In a picture in the press release of what appears to be Walgreens’ packaging for their version of the drug, it says to “compare to the active ingredient in Narcan.” Narcan is the brand name of the original version of the prescription-strength naloxone 4-milligram nasal spray. 

Back in March, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Narcan for over-the-counter use. Since then, it has also approved a generic version of Narcan and another brand-name naloxone spray.

FDA Commissioner Robert Califf said at the time of Narcan’s approval that it was a positive step forward when it comes to tackling the opioid epidemic.

“The FDA remains committed to addressing the evolving complexities of the overdose crisis. As part of this work, the agency has used its regulatory authority to facilitate greater access to naloxone by encouraging the development of and approving an over-the-counter naloxone product to address the dire public health need,” Califf said.