YELLOWKNIFE, NT, Aug. 7, 2019 /CNW/ - The Minister of Health and Social Services of the Northwest Territories (NWT) has announced that the government will be making NARCAN® (naloxone HCl) Nasal Spray 4mg available to everyone in the province for free and anonymously.i
As the opioid crisis continues to rise in Canada, increased access to naloxone, which aids in the emergency treatment of an opioid overdose, is an important step to fighting the crisis. NARCAN® Nasal Spray will now be accessible to all NWT residents through local retail pharmacies, clinics, health centres and hospitals in all 33 NWT communities.
NWT becomes the third province or territory to cover NARCAN® Nasal Spray for free for all of their residents, and joins federal programs offering the intranasal treatment for free to their members, including the Non-Insured Health Benefits program and Veterans Affairs Canada Program of Choice. Unique to NWT, the announcement states that the government has decided to switch entirely to intranasal naloxone as it has become the preferred alternative due to its ease of use and efficacy.ii
Mark Barnes, pharmacist and member of the Ottawa Overdose Prevention & Response Task Force knows first-hand the benefits of offering naloxone kits widely within a community, and applauds the government's decision.
"The more naloxone in the community, the better, because someone overdosing on an opioid such as fentanyl, heroin or carfentanyl cannot use naloxone on themselves," said Mark Barnes, Pharmacist at Respect Rx Pharmasave, Ottawa. "It's important that everyone within a community is informed and equipped to act in an overdose emergency, as every second matters. It's easy for anyone to carry naloxone, training is simple, and the 4-milligram dose of NARCAN® Nasal Spray can help counteract the increased toxicity of opioids being reported across Canada."
NARCAN® Nasal Spray 4mg is the first and only needle-free formulation of naloxone for the emergency treatment of a known or suspected opioid overdose. It does not require assembly or any specialized medical training and is also the highest concentrated dose of intranasal naloxone currently available.
"The opioid crisis isn't showing signs of slowing down, but communities all over Canada are taking a stand and fighting back against it, through making naloxone available in public spaces, making naloxone available to residents free of charge, and holding training and information sessions," said David Renwick, Vice President and General Manager of Adapt Pharma Canada. "Northwest Territories is making a decision that helps to empower individuals and communities alike to play their role in combatting the opioid crisis. Adapt remains committed to working with governments across Canada to see naloxone widely distributed throughout all communities."
NWT has also introduced stigma-reducing programs including the "I'm a Lifesaver" campaign and the "Know More" awareness campaign.
For more information on the opioid crisis, visit FightTheCrisis.com.
ABOUT NARCAN® (naloxone HCl) NASAL SPRAY
Naloxone Hydrochloride Nasal Spray is a pure opioid antagonist indicated for emergency use to reverse known or suspected opioid overdose, as manifested by respiratory and/or severe central nervous system depression.
Naloxone Hydrochloride Nasal Spray can be administered by a bystander (non-health care professional) before emergency medical assistance becomes available, but it is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical care. Emergency medical assistance (calling 911) should be requested immediately when an opioid overdose is suspected, before administering naloxone.
NARCAN® Nasal Spray is available upon consultation with a pharmacist. Always read the label and follow the direction for use. The full product monograph for NARCAN® Nasal Spray is available at https://www.narcannasalspray.ca/pdf/en/product_monograph.pdf.
Adapt Pharma Canada Ltd. has established dedicated distribution channels that allow first responders, public health organizations, and individuals to readily access NARCAN® Nasal Spray. Adapt Customer Support can be reached at 1-877-870-2726 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Naloxone Hydrochloride Nasal Spray is available as 4 mg/0.1 mL single-dose sprayer, carton of 2 devices.
i Government of Northwest Territories Website. Available at:https://www.gov.nt.ca/en/newsroom/intranasal-naloxone. Accessed July 2019.
ii NWT Health and Social Services Website. Available at:https://www.hss.gov.nt.ca/en/services/pr%C3%A9vention-contre-la-surdose-d%E2%80%99opio%C3%AFdes/how-nwt-responding. Accessed July 2019.
SOURCE Adapt Pharma
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