The Clinton Health Matters Initiative, a branch of the Clinton Foundation, in partnership with Adapt Pharma, recently announced the distribution of 10 000 doses of Narcan nasal spray (4 mg), free of charge, to colleges and community-based organizations in 10 counties across 7 US states.1

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of deaths from opioid overdose has increased by 200% from 2000 to 2014, with over 47 000 deaths.2 Although this number comprises deaths not only from opioid pain medication, but also from heroin, the report has triggered great concern in the United States, where the phenomenon is now dubbed an opioid epidemic.

These donations of the nasal spray will benefit, among other institutions, universities, as, as is stated on the Clinton Foundation’s website, “This [opioid] epidemic has been particularly widespread on college campuses. Between 1993 and 2005, the proportion of college students using prescription drugs went up dramatically: use of opioids such as Vicodin, Oxycontin, and Percocet increased by 343%, and use of stimulants like Ritalin or Adderall increased by 93%.”

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NARCAN® (naloxone hydrochloride) was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in November 2015 as an emergency treatment for opioid overdose. Naloxone, a competitive µ-opioid receptor antagonist (with lower binding affinity to δ- and κ-opioid receptors, and no detected opioid agonist activity), was shown to reverse opioid-related respiratory depression3 and hypotension.

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  1. Adapt Pharma/Clinton Health Matters Initiative Collaboration: One-time Experience Donation of Narcan Nasal Spray. Clinton Foundation. Available at: Accessed October 12, 2016.
  2. Increases in Drug and Opioid Overdose Deaths — United States, 2000–2014. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at: Accessed October 12, 2016.
  3. Wermeling DP. Review of naloxone safety for opioid overdose: practical considerations for new technology and expanded public access. Ther Adv Drug Saf. 2015;6(1):20-31.