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In the latest attempt to combat prescription drug abuse, two US senators want several drug makers to explain their pricing for naloxone, a decades-old drug that is widely used to reverse the effect of opioid and heroin overdoses.

The move comes amid ongoing reports that the cost of the treatment continues to rise, despite bitter complaints from public officials. At the same time, public health officials cite a growing number of overdose deaths — more than 27,000 were recorded in the US in 2014.


In identical letters to five drug makers, Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, and Claire McCaskill, a Democrat from Missouri who chairs the Senate Special Committee on Aging, wrote that they are concerned that rising prices “may be limited access for emergency responders and public health departments.”

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  • One of my husband’s best friends just died of an overdose this weekend. Perhaps if it wasn’t so expensive he would still be here. If his friends and family could have afforded to carry around a dose of Naloxone (it was not his first OD), someone could have saved his life.

  • I went to Walgreens in Sevierville & the pharmacist said he had never heard of Naloxone. I told him it was all over the internet that Walgreens carried it in the state of Tennessee & he said that it was s lie?

    • Very scary, considering that east Tennessee is pretty much ground zero for the heroin epidemic. Many of these cases are accidental and I would like to see a combo package containing opiate plus Narcan just in case. I lived in Nashville for five years but you don’t need to get too far out if town to see the stupidity quotient rise pretty quickly.

  • Regarding prescription opiates one way to reduce costs of naloxone is to copackage the opiate with a dose of naloxone. The copackaged product would likely be cheaper than the individual components and would be immediately available when your friend or over one OD’s on his or her drug of choice. Learning how to administer the naloxone would require a only a trip to the pharmacy, where pharmacists are trained to give injections. Not freaking out when your kid OD’s in order to be able to give the shot may be another matter entirely.

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