President Trump has pledged to donate his third-quarter salary to fight the opioid crisis.

So what will that buy, exactly? We’re not sure yet. But it won’t go too far — considering the White House itself has said the opioid epidemic costs the nation about $500 billion a year in costs for medical care, law enforcement, and lost productivity.

His third quarter salary, by contrast, is a drop in the bucket at $100,000. It’ll be donated to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Here’s what Trump’s donation could buy:


  • 44 auto-injectors of naloxone. Kaleo, the pharmaceutical company that makes the auto-injector that revives opioid users who have overdosed, sells its product as a two-pack with a list price of $4,500
  • 735 doses of naloxone nasal spray. GoodRx lists the price of Narcan nasal spray at $135 with a free coupon at Costco, Walgreens (WBA), and Kroger Pharmacy.
  • 100 doses of Vivitrol, the monthly injectable of extended-release naltrexone, which can cost about $1,000 per shot.
  • A year’s worth of methadone treatment for 21 patients. According to the National Institute for Drug Abuse, the average cost of methadone maintenance runs about $4,700 per patient for a full year.
  • About 103,000 clean needles to be used by a syringe exchange. That’s according to the Harm Reduction Coalition, which has stated the cost of a sterile syringe can be as low as 97 cents.
  • Six months’ salary for either his next health secretary or the drug czar’s. The salary is $199,700 for both positions.
  • 2,000 doctors could be trained on how to perform the evidence-based protocol known as Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment. Federal officials have championed SBIRT as a way to “identify, reduce, and prevent problematic use, abuse, and dependence on alcohol and illicit drugs.” A four-hour training in New York costs $50.

Why did Trump pick the opioid crisis for his gift? “His decision to donate his salary is a tribute to his compassion, to his patriotism and his sense of duty to the American people,” acting health secretary Eric Hargan said Thursday during the White House’s press briefing.

Trump had previously donated portions of his salary to the National Parks Service and U.S. Department of Education.

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  • 500 billion dollars compared to 100,000 dollars leaves a whole lot more funding to be raised. Funding is vital!

  • I suggest the author’s (Max Blau) supervisor find him something worthwhile to write about. What a worthless piece of ???? (can’t be called journalism).

    The health care industry is certainly expansive and varied enough for any junior journalist to find a meaningful topic to shuffle a couple of words about.

    Perhaps Mr. Blau might donate his salary to combat the opioid crisis if he doesn’t feel the president’s salary isn’t enough.

  • Can we not just acknowledge that Trump made a charitable donation to an issue that has rapidly become a national crisis without ascribing insincere motivation or injecting politics into every facet of American life? Yes, more capital will be needed, but every dollar counts. I much rather that he donate his salary than keep it.

    I’m sick of this crap.

  • Are we supposed to be impressed that a billionaire is donating 100k? It really is a big joke, he’s just trying to make himself look good but it’s not working.

  • $100K (less taxes) = $2K per state = 2 days of treatment for one person in each state or 12 naloxone kits per state. In Delaware there were 2,334 administrations in 2016. Every dollar helps, but far more is needed.

  • I am thankful for ANY help to combat the opioid crisis. I thank President Trump for donating his 3rd year’s salary to this epidemic. More needs to be done, of course. Too much heroin & meth is making its way into U.S. from other countries. This needs to stop.

    • You might be quite right about the heroine but unfortunately meth doesn’t need to brought in from other countries. It is made in every city, every county in every state in the US.

  • If, for some reason his BIG tax cut (that will save him millions) shouldn’t materialize any time soon, he will be running around demanding those donations back!

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