The Baltimore health department and a consumer advocacy group are urging the Trump administration to sidestep patents on a pair of opioid overdose antidotes in order to combat the opioid crisis.
In a letter to the White House, they argue the Trump administration should use a little-known federal law that would permit the government to side step patents on two brand-name medicines — Narcan and Evzio. There are older forms of naloxone, which is widely used to reverse the effect of opioid and heroin overdoses, but these two newer versions were the first to be approved for community use.
Several federal agencies have recommended increasing access to naloxone, especially for prescription-opioid users, and the high prices have prompted scrutiny from congressional lawmakers. Meanwhile, the pricing has strained municipal government budgets because first responders increasingly rely on the product in the wake of the growing number of opioid overdoses around the country.