New Potent Weapon to Help in the Fight Against Opioid Overdose Deaths

OPVEE (nalmefene) nasal spray is now available to first responders and pharmacies. The life-saving medication was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the spring of this year. There are currently 25 states where OPVEE can be accessed without a prescription due to statewide standing orders or other means.

OPVEE is indicated for the emergency treatment of known or suspected opioid overdose induced by natural or synthetic opioids in adults and pediatric patients ages 12 years and older. Overdose symptoms that necessitate the use of OPVEE include respiratory and/or central nervous system depression.1 OPVEE provides fast onset and long duration reversal of opioid-induced respiratory depression, which makes it well-suited for reversing natural and synthetic opioids, including fentanyl.

“There is a new tool on our arsenal against the opioid overdose epidemic,” said Jerome Adams, the former U.S. Surgeon General and current director of health equity at Purdue University.

For years, Shatterproof has encouraged the FDA to develop proactive solutions to address the opioid crisis, and the organization applauds this advance to make OPVEE more widely available to family and friends of people who have substance use disorders. Shatterproof is a national nonprofit organization focused on guiding communities with recovery information and resources, removing systemic barriers to recovery, mobilizing the country to advocate for change, and ending addiction stigma.

Additionally, Shatterproof has worked to advocate for legislation and increase awareness about the dangers of fentanyl. This includes releasing The Fentanyl Epidemic: State Initiative to Reduce Overdose Deaths, a research report that contains recommendations and state initiatives proven to reduce overdose deaths; advocating for The Fentanyl Sanctions Act (H.R. 2483/ S. 1044) to make trafficking fentanyl to the U.S. more difficult; and supporting the STOP Act, which upgrades postal service resources and education on fentanyl coming into the country.

The availability of OPVEE addresses the critical need to increase tools available to fight the opioid crisis. OPVEE is delivered through the same user-friendly nasal device utilized by existing reversal agents, which allows for an easy adoption in communities that require it the most.

“We now have another reversal agent more readily available to meet the desperate need of the current fentanyl epidemic,” said Kevin Roy, chief public policy officer for Shatterproof. “Our efforts in advocating for increased access to critical medications for addiction treatment will continue and overdose rescue will continue as we pursue a range of policy solutions to save lives from the prevalence of fentanyl.”

 

  1. Indivior. (2023). Opvee Prescribing Information. Now FDA Approved - Opvee Nasal Spray. Accessed October 3, 2023, from https://opvee.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Combined-USPI_Patient-Info_IFU_Clean_05July2023.pdf