The life-saving overdose reversal agent Narcan is one step closer to being easily accessed by the general public.
The Food and Drug Administration's board of independent advisors voted to make the nasal spray available for over-the-counter purchasing.
"There is no reason to keep this as a prescription, let's get it out there and save some lives," Elizabeth Coykendall, a temporary voting member on the FDA's advisory board and paramedic at PM Pediatrics in Raleigh, North Carolina, told CNBC.
A final decision has not been made by the agency but they are expected to have a final answer by March 29. Emergent BioSolutions, the maker of Narcan, said the spray would be available for purchase by late summer if it receives FDA approval.
All 50 states currently offer a generic version of Narcan known as Naloxone, and it is already being sold over-the-counter after a sharp rise in overdose deaths in recent years. People seeking the treatment do not have to have a prescription.
"Allowing it to be sold over-the-counter in the same manner in every state really clears uop some confusion and hopefully clears up some of that red tape," Dr Kirk Evoy, a clinical associate professor of pharmacotherapy a the University of Texas at Austin, told CNN.
If the FDA does remove Narcan from its list of prescribed treatments, it could become available in places outside of pharmacies like vending machines, supermarkets and convenience stores.