Emergent BioSolutions Continues to Broaden Access, Awareness and Availability of NARCAN® Nasal Spray to Help Save Lives from the Ongoing Opioid Crisis

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Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (NYSE: EBS) is dedicated to combating the opioid crisis by expanding access to NARCAN® Nasal Spray, the first FDA-approved over-the-counter naloxone. With millions of doses distributed in 2023 and availability in over 32,000 retail locations, Emergent aims to address the increasing demand for opioid overdose reversal medications.
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The FDA approval of NARCAN® Nasal Spray for over-the-counter sales is a significant development in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors. The availability of this life-saving medication in retail locations broadens consumer access and has the potential to influence the market dynamics of opioid overdose treatments. The widespread distribution of NARCAN® Nasal Spray aligns with the increasing public health focus on combating the opioid epidemic, which has seen a relentless rise in overdose deaths.

From a market perspective, Emergent BioSolutions' strategy to increase the product's reach could lead to higher sales volumes, potentially impacting the company's revenue streams positively. The alignment with the 'White House Challenge to Save Lives from Overdose' could further enhance the company's reputation and brand value, creating goodwill that may translate into long-term economic benefits. However, the costs associated with scaling up production and marketing efforts to meet the anticipated demand surge must be carefully weighed against the expected revenue growth.

The approval of NARCAN® Nasal Spray as an over-the-counter medication is a landmark public health event. It represents a proactive approach to reducing the mortality associated with opioid overdoses. With over 107,000 overdose deaths reported by the CDC in 2022, the need for accessible treatment options is clear.

The impact of this move on public health could be profound, as it removes barriers to naloxone access, potentially reducing the time to treatment in overdose situations. The initiative to place NARCAN® in workplaces and businesses is a strategic response to the ubiquity of opioid risks. While this is a positive step, continuous education and awareness initiatives are essential to ensure proper usage and to mitigate any unintended consequences, such as a false sense of security leading to increased opioid misuse.

The FDA's approval of NARCAN® Nasal Spray for OTC sales represents a pivotal moment for Emergent BioSolutions from a financial standpoint. The company's stock performance (NYSE: EBS) may reflect investor optimism about the potential increase in product sales. With Emergent's commitment to meeting the growing demand, investors will likely monitor the company's ability to scale operations efficiently.

It is important to consider the balance between the cost of expanding distribution networks and the price sensitivity of the OTC market. The company's future financial statements will reveal the impact of these efforts on profit margins. Additionally, investors should pay attention to how this strategic move affects Emergent's market share in comparison to competitors who may also seek to capitalize on the increased demand for opioid overdose treatments.

  • As the first-ever U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved over-the-counter (OTC) naloxone in 2023, Emergent is working to expand access with NARCAN® Nasal Spray and build on its longstanding efforts with public interest entities across the country 
  • Hundreds of thousands of NARCAN® Nasal Spray cartons are available in over 32,000 retail locations in the U.S., and Emergent is working to increase reach into workplaces, businesses and other locations
  • Approximately 22 million doses of NARCAN® Nasal Spray were distributed in the U.S. and Canada in 2023, and Emergent is committed to meeting any increase in demand driven by the evolving and worsening epidemic
  • The recently announced ‘White House Challenge to Save Lives from Overdose’ is a nationwide call-to-action that includes increasing access to life-saving opioid overdose reversal medications, a program with direct alignment to Emergent’s strategy and efforts since the launch of NARCAN® Nasal Spray in 2016
  • Naloxone, the active ingredient in NARCAN® Nasal Spray, is a life-saving medication that can reverse an overdose from opioids, including heroin, fentanyl, and prescription opioid medications, when given in time

GAITHERSBURG, Md., March 28, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (NYSE: EBS) remains committed to fighting the ongoing opioid crisis by broadening access to, and awareness of, NARCAN® Nasal Spray to help save lives in opioid overdose emergencies. In 2022, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported over 107,000 overdose deaths – a number that has risen almost every year and which has continued to break annual records.1 This includes a rise in synthetic opioid overdoses mainly driven by fentanyl.1 There is an inherent risk of potential overdose, wherever opioids are present, which has tragically become the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S.These statistics only further underscore the need for multi-sectoral action to address and prevent opioid overdose deaths.

One year after Emergent obtained the historic OTC U.S. FDA approval in March 2023 and seven months since retail launch in August 2023, the availability of NARCAN® Nasal Spray in pharmacies, grocery stores and online retailers has helped more people gain access to this life-saving product. Emergent and other stakeholders in the fight must continue raising awareness about the availability of products like NARCAN® Nasal Spray, reducing stigma and further improving access for all Americans. Since the OTC launch, NARCAN® Nasal Spray can be purchased at more than 32,000 mass drug, grocery, online retailers and e-commerce sites. Emergent is working with retail partners to make it easy to find and access, however each retailer ultimately determines in-store product placement.

In 2023, Emergent distributed approximately 22 million doses (~11 million two-dose cartons) in the U.S. and Canada through public interest organizations like state and harm reduction groups and retail locations. Emergent also announced a shelf-life extension from 36 to 48 months for NARCAN® Nasal Spray in the U.S., further demonstrating its commitment to ensuring more medicine is available for the public to access.

“We’re living in a time when one person dies approximately every six minutes from an accidental opioid overdose – prevention and response efforts require an all-hands on deck approach toward lessening this devastating public health crisis,” said Joseph Papa, president and CEO of Emergent. “In my first month leading Emergent, and alongside our dedicated colleagues, we continue to advance our mission to protect the public from threats such as the opioid epidemic and am proud of our efforts to help save lives.”

Emergent is now engaging with partners who are aligned with its mission to expand access, awareness and availability, such as the National Safety Council (NSC*), working together to educate and reach businesses and employers. Specifically, Emergent sees brick and mortar stores, airlines, restaurants, hotels and schools as critical locations where NARCAN® Nasal Spray should be made available in case of an emergency, alongside AED kits.

“We know that NARCAN® Nasal Spray alone can’t solve the opioid crisis – and that opioid overdose reversal medication can only be useful if present and administered when a person is experiencing an overdose. When bystanders are unable to provide life-saving measures such as naloxone in nearly half of fatal overdoses, our role to help expand the reach of this medication has never been more important,” said Paul Williams, senior vice president, products business, Emergent. “That’s why we remain committed to increasing awareness of NARCAN® Nasal Spray availability. We also applaud the Biden Administration for their recently announced plan to address the opioid crisis, and Emergent remains prepared to support efforts to our fullest capacity and help save more lives.”

Emergent is also maintaining affordability of NARCAN® Nasal Spray and is ready to meet public need as necessary and arm individuals with an essential tool to combat against opioid overdose. As announced at the OTC retail launch last year, the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of NARCAN® Nasal Spray is $44.99 per two-dose carton, which is equivalent to roughly $22.50 per dose. While Emergent works with partners to help maintain access and affordability, the price of the product is set by individual retailers. Emergent set the public interest price at $41.00 per two-dose carton, building on its long-standing engagement with public interest groups to ensure naloxone is readily available to at-risk communities.

In addition, Emergent continues to prioritize efforts to reduce the barriers to access, including addressing stigma, encouraging businesses and school districts to carry naloxone, supporting policy to ensure Health Spending Account (HSA) and Flexible Saving Account (FSA) eligibility for naloxone and working with state Medicaid agencies to provide coverage.

NARCAN® Nasal Spray is an appropriate choice for a known or suspected opioid overdose as immediate administration, however it is not a substitute for emergency assistance. To learn more about this life-saving medicine and access resources, education and advocacy tools, visit

*As a contracted commercial partner of Emergent, NSC will receive a fee for service. 

About NARCAN® Nasal Spray

NARCAN® Naloxone HCl Nasal Spray 4 mg is the first FDA-approved, over-the-counter (OTC) 4 mg naloxone product for the emergency treatment of opioid overdose. NARCAN® Nasal Spray is not a substitute for emergency medical care. Repeat dosing may be necessary. Use as directed.

About Emergent BioSolutions

At Emergent, our mission is to protect and enhance life. For 25 years, we’ve been at work defending people from things we hope will never happen—so we are prepared just in case they ever do. We provide solutions for complex and urgent public health threats through a portfolio of vaccines and therapeutics that we develop and manufacture for governments and consumers. We also offer a range of integrated contract development and manufacturing services for pharmaceutical and biotechnology customers. To learn more about how we plan to protect or enhance 1 billion lives by 2030, visit our website and follow us on LinkedInX, Instagram, Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Safe Harbor Statement

This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements. We generally identify forward-looking statements by using words like “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “future,” “goal,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “position,” “possible,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “target,” “will,” “would,” and similar expressions or variations thereof, or the negative thereof, but these terms are not the exclusive means of identifying such statements. Forward-looking statements are based on our current intentions, beliefs and expectations regarding future events based on information that is currently available. We cannot guarantee that any forward-looking statements will be accurate. Readers should realize that if underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or if known or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could differ materially from our expectations. Readers are, therefore, cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date of this press release, and, except as required by law, we do not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect new information, events or circumstances.

There are a number of important factors that could cause the company’s actual results to differ materially from those indicated by any forward-looking statements. Readers should consider this cautionary statement, as well as the risk factors and other disclosures included in our periodic reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, when evaluating our forward-looking statements.

Investor Contact:
Richard S. Lindahl
Executive Vice President, CFO

Media Contact:
Assal Hellmer
Vice President, Communications

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (March 21, 2024). Drug Overdose Deaths in the United States, 2002–2022.
2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (February 14, 2022). Understanding Drug Overdoses and Deaths.



How many doses of NARCAN® Nasal Spray were distributed in the U.S. and Canada in 2023?

Approximately 22 million doses of NARCAN® Nasal Spray were distributed in the U.S. and Canada in 2023.

What is the active ingredient in NARCAN® Nasal Spray?

Naloxone is the active ingredient in NARCAN® Nasal Spray, a medication that can reverse opioid overdoses.

What was the historic achievement for Emergent in March 2023?

Emergent obtained the first-ever FDA approval for over-the-counter naloxone in March 2023.

What is the 'White House Challenge to Save Lives from Overdose'?

The 'White House Challenge to Save Lives from Overdose' is a nationwide initiative to increase access to opioid overdose reversal medications, aligning with Emergent's efforts with NARCAN® Nasal Spray.

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