Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Clinton Foundation Negotiates Lower Price for Naloxone Device for Local Groups
January 27th, 2015/

The Clinton Foundation announced Monday it has negotiated a lower price for a device that delivers the opioid overdose antidote naloxone. The device, called Evzio, will be available at a lower price to institutions that can distribute naloxone more widely, such as police departments and universities.

The high cost of naloxone has prevented its widespread use, The New York Times reports. In some cases, prices for the drug have increased by 50 percent or more. Naloxone reverses the effects of an overdose of heroin or opioid painkillers.

The antidote has long been used by emergency rooms and paramedics. Recently, the World Health Organization said increasing the availability of naloxone could prevent more than 20,000 deaths in the United States annually. Naloxone works quickly, without side effects.

A growing number of states have passed laws increasing access to the antidote.

As of September 2014, there were 24 states with such laws. Most of the laws allow doctors to prescribe naloxone to friends and family members of a person who abuses opioids. The laws also remove legal liability for prescribers and for those who administer naloxone.

The Clinton Health Matters Initiative, part of the Clinton Foundation, announced it had negotiated a lower price for Evzio, which is a hand-held auto-injector similar to an EpiPen. Evzio delivers a single dose of naloxone. The price, which was not disclosed, is close to what the federal government pays, the article notes.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Evzio in April 2014. It can be used by friends or relatives of a person who has overdosed. When the device is turned on, it gives verbal instructions about how to use it. The medication blocks the ability of heroin or opioid painkillers to attach to brain cells.

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