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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Clinton Foundation Bargains for Naloxone

If every prescription opioid or heroin abuser and their loved ones had access to the lifesaving overdose antidote naloxone, the United States would see a dramatic drop in overdose death rates - saving a number of lives. In the past, naloxone was only available in an injection form that was used only in medical settings; now the drug is available in an aerosol nasal spray, known as Evzio™, which can be administered by a layman.

A number of law enforcement officials across the country have begun carrying the spray kits in their squad cars. The problem is, after recognizing the market value of such a drug, the price of naloxone has nearly doubled - making the drug unaffordable for a number of municipalities.

On Monday, The Clinton Foundation announced the negotiation of a lower price for the Evzio™ device, The New York Times reports. Institutions, such as police departments and universities will be able to purchase Evzio™ at a lower price, widening the reach of the life saving drug.

The chief executive of the Clinton Health Matters Initiative, Rain Henderson, declined to announce the negotiated price, only saying that the new price was close to what the federal government pays for naloxone, according to the article. Henderson said the government has the bargaining power to get a lower price, while municipalities and other health agencies were required to negotiate prices individually.

“These are lifesaving devices, like defibrillators,” Henderson said. “They should be available to everyone, but that’s not happening because of the cost.”

The more states that get on board with home use naloxone kits, the more lives that can be potentially saved. Towards the end of 2014, there were 24 states with laws in place that allow doctors to prescribe naloxone to friends and family members of opioid abusers, removing legal liability for prescribers and for those who administer the drug.

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