NEW YORK (PIX11) – It may soon be easier to get a life-saving nasal spray that reverses opioid drug overdoses. Two FDA committees voted Wednesday unanimously to recommend that Naloxone be made available for purchase over the counter without a prescription.

In New York State, you can only buy Naloxone over the counter at participating pharmacies. It’s sold under the brand name Narcan.

Saj Patel, the owner of Ballard Pharmacy in Brooklyn, supports making it more available.

Patel told PIX11 News, “to get it over the counter, accessible for everybody, it’s a need, it’s been a need for many years. There is no harm done to the patient at all, only benefit, it can save them from going to the hospital or even death.”

Drug treatment expert Steve Chassman with the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence said the FDA advisory panel’s vote shows the federal government recognizes the extent of the opioid epidemic. Chassman said 107,000 families in the United States lost someone to an overdose in 2022.

“We rather you’d have Naloxone and not need it than need it and not have it. If you’re carrying EpiPens, and if you’re carrying a defibrillator, then you should also be carrying Naloxone,” Chassman said.

Carol Trottere, of Suffolk County, lost her 30-year-old son, Alex, to a heroin and fentanyl overdose in 2018. She is now pushing for Narcan to be more accessible.

“It makes me happy in my heart to think that someone could get a second chance and their parents won’t have to go through what I’m going through,” Trottere told PIX11 News.

The entire FDA is expected to decide whether to approve Narcan for over-the-counter sale by March 29.