When someone overdoses, time is critical to saving their life.  Getting a treatment such as naloxone — which can reverse the effects of an overdose and resuscitate them — into an individual as quickly as possible is crucial. But how that therapy is packaged can play an important part in timeliness.

Currently, there are two forms of storing the drug for use — in an ampoule or a vial. The latter is much more user-friendly, and has less risk for the person delivering the drug and the person receiving it. Ampoules, by contrast are one-piece glass containers that need to be broken before use.

“When you open an ampoule, there is a risk of cutting yourself with the broken ampoule, or even having glass shards fall into the drug,” says Omega Laboratories, the only Canadian company currently producing naloxone 0.4mg/1mL in vials. “Patient safety is our utmost concern. That’s why it’s important to make a product that is safer for people.” Given the ease of administering the drug, more pharmacies should stock the vial format.