Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, has announced a $3.42 million grant to nonprofit pharmaceutical company Harm Reduction Therapeutics to accelerate the development of a low-cost, over-the-counter naloxone nasal spray that can be used to reverse the effects of life-threatening opioid overdoses.
Founded in 2017 in response to the cost of, and limited access to, existing prescription naloxone products, Harm Reduction Therapeutics is working to develop a low-cost alternative suitable for both consumers and first responders. With the grant, the company expects that an over-the-counter product can be developed, approved, and distributed in eighteen to twenty-four months.
"As lives are lost every day from opioid overdoses, making low-cost, over-the counter naloxone available to both consumers and first responders is an urgent priority," said Harm Reduction Therapeutics co-founder and CEO Michael Hufforf. "Combating the ongoing crisis of opioid addiction will require innovative approaches to both prevention and medication-assisted treatment, but it all starts with making sure lives are not lost from overdose. Increasing access to naloxone — by obtaining FDA approval to sell it over-the-counter and selling it at the lowest possible price as a nonprofit pharmaceutical company — will help save lives that would otherwise be lost to opioid overdose, and we are grateful to Purdue for their support to help accelerate our drug development."
"Purdue is committed to advancing patient care and public safety," said Purdue Pharma president and CEO Craig Landau. "While naloxone accessibility cannot be seen as a single solution, it must be part of our collective actions."
(Image credit: Harm Reduction Therapeutics)