Pennsylvania is urging residents to check the expiration dates of prescription medications, including naloxone, an overdose reversal drug.
Naloxone is marketed under the brand name NARCAN. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently extended the shelf life of NARCAN Nasal Spray from 24 months to 36 months.
“We are committed to ensuring that naloxone is widely available to help those with the disease of addiction,” Dr. Rachel Levine, state secretary of health, said. “Naloxone has one role, and that is to save someone who is suffering from an overdose. It is essential that every Pennsylvanian consider obtaining naloxone to help save a life.”
Levine signed orders in 2014, allowing first responders and the public access to naloxone. This was later extended to include community organizations distributing naloxone through mail order. Nearly 10,000 kits of naloxone were distributed at two public giveaway events.
The Naloxone for First Responders Program has been providing first responder groups statewide that utilize Centralized Coordinating Entities with the drug. More than 67,000 kits have distributed since 2017, resulting in more than 15,463 reported overdose reversals.
In January 2018, Gov. Tom Wolf signed the state’s first opioid disaster declaration, establishing the Opioid Command Center staffed by personnel from 17 state agencies.