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APC Jul17

At this time last year, Canadians and policy makers across the country were scrambling to address the country’s escalating opioid epidemic. Communities across the country experienced increases in overdoses from both the misuse of prescription drugs, as well as fentanyl-laced illicit drugs.  

“These overdose deaths can certainly be prevented. Overdoses can also be treated,” said Jane Philpott, Canada’s Minister of Health, in an interview discussing the expedited review of naloxone. “These are people who are dying who wouldn’t need to die if there were mechanisms for them to be able to access products like naloxone more easily.”[1]

To aid first responders and social workers in their fight against the crisis, the Minister of Health signed an Interim Order which authorized the immediate importation and sale of NARCAN™ Nasal Spray for use in the emergency treatment of known or suspected opioid overdoses in Canada. Shortly after, the naloxone-based drug was made available to Canadians without a prescription.

Since that time, tens of thousands of first responders, government workers and community supporters have come to rely on NARCAN™ Nasal Spray to treat overdose victims in emergency situations, with July 6, 2017 marking the one-year anniversary of the opioid overdose antidote’s arrival in Canada.

NARCAN™ Nasal Spray has been shipped to every province and territory, including:

  • All front-line RCMP officers across Canada
  • More than 75 regional or municipal police services, including all 11 municipal police services in British Columbia and more than half of all forces in Ontario
  • More than 50 Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA) locations
  • Police and fire services throughout Atlantic Canada
  • Municipal governments, hospitals, schools and recovery treatment centres nationwide

As the federal Interim Order ends, new sales of NARCAN™ Nasal Spray will provide English and French packaging and labelling. There are no changes specific to the dosage or efficacy of the drug, and any product that was previously distributed can be used as needed until the expiration date noted on the package.  The new packaging with bilingual labels was developed under Health Canada approval, and are now available for order in Canada.

For more information, visit narcannasalspray.ca.