health wellness

This Year's Must-Have Wellness Accessory? Narcan Dupes

As the opioid crisis continues, the anti-overdose drug manufacturer has agreed to release its patent on Narcan's nasal spray device, allowing other companies to make their own.
06 January 2020, 4:49am
narcan, nalmefene, naloxone, opioid crisis, letitia james, knockoff narcan, narcan training, dupes, narcan dupes, emergent biosolutions,
Photo by Kena Betancur via Getty Images

This article originally appeared on VICE US.

Now that we’ve decided to throw hair gummies, zoodles, and every other terrible 2010s wellness trend into a metaphorical burlap sack and toss ‘em into the nearest, equally metaphorical lake, we can start fresh and find some new, actually useful ones.

Enter Narcan dupes (hear me out… “Notcan”?), the potentially hottest wellness accessory of 2020. Narcan’s manufacturer, Emergent BioSolutions, has released control over the nasal spray technology used to administer the brand-name version of naloxone, an opioid overdose prevention drug, as the Associated Press reported on Thursday. This will allow other pharmaceutical companies to develop their own overdose antidote nasal sprays using nalmefene.

The new versions are probably dropping later this year thanks to a deal worked out between New York state attorney general Letitia James and Emergent BioSolutions. In a statement to The Niagara-Wheatfield Tribune, James explained that she pursued the agreement in order to address “the tragic, devastating effects of the opioid crisis,” which caused 42,000 deaths nationwide in 2016 alone. “With more companies able to access this easy-to-use technology, our hope is that we can reduce the number of opioid overdose deaths across New York and this nation and save millions of additional lives.”

Perhaps it’s fever-dreamy to say, but I’d love to see this lead to an explosion of Narcan-adajacent nasal sprays flooding the pharmaceutical market, customized and aestheticized by wellness influencers à la sheet masks and tinctures until they’re buried at the bottom of every girl (of any gender’s!) bag.

“I want to see Narcan become a ‘must-have’ accessory,” said Ripley Soprano, a 28-year-old harm reduction organizer from New York, who helped design and produce “Suck Dick Carry Narcan” stickers.

That said, we don’t have to wait for Emergent BioSolutions. “If folks want to get involved with harm reduction, [I recommend finding] their local harm reduction center or organization,” Soprano continued. “There's Narcan trainings at local libraries every week. If there isn't a harm reduction project or center in your community, I recommend looking into NEXT Distro, which does mail order Narcan to regions that don't have access.”

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