March 30, 2023

Washington, D.C. — The O’Neill Institute issues the following statement by Regina LaBelle, director of O’Neill’s Addiction and Public Policy Initiative, regarding the FDA’s decision to approve the first over-the-counter version of the opioid overdose medication Narcan. LaBelle served as the Acting Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) in the Biden-Harris administration. She previously served in the Obama administration as ONDCP’s chief of staff.

The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) decision to approve Narcan as an over-the-counter medication is an important step forward in expanding access to this life-saving overdose antidote.

We applaud the FDA’s actions and urge additional steps be taken to ensure that naloxone is affordable and available in communities at heightened risk for overdose, including in Black and Indigenous communities where we see increasing overdose rates. We also need to identify ways naloxone can be made more widely available to adolescents, another demographic group experiencing increased overdose rates.


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