Text AA

Harm Reduction Coalition Calls for Solutions to Naloxone Price Increases

The Harm Reduction Coalition is calling upon policy makers to address the rising costs of the lifesaving medication naloxone in the fight to address opioid overdose fatalities.  Opioid overdose is the leading cause of injury related death in the United States– a significant public health threat that has taken over a hundred thousand lives in the last decade alone.  As a response, communities all across the country have implemented overdose prevention education and naloxone distribution (OEND) programs that have been proven to lower incidence of fatal overdose.  OEND programs have been attributed with saving over 10,000 lives (up to year 2010) with many more thousands of overdose reversals in the last year alone.  Public health departments, first responder agencies, parent support groups and a variety of additional innovative arenas are at the forefront of expanding access and utilization of naloxone.

Unfortunately, sharp price increases threaten the viability of community programs to perform lifesaving work.  Whitney Englander, Harm Reduction Coalition’s government relations manager says:

“Sharp increases in the price of naloxone are threatening the lifesaving work and viability of community-based programs all across the country.  Communities face steep challenges brought by the opioid epidemic, but none is more tragic than the tens of thousands of lives lost every year to preventable opioid overdoses.  But sharp increases in the price of naloxone means programs will not have the resources to purchase and distribute this lifesaving drug to people whose lives depend on it.”

As communities struggle to address this public epidemic, Harm Reduction Coalition is calling on all stakeholders and policymakers to come to the table with a commitment to addressing the crisis of naloxone price increases. One potential solution is for community based programs to receive special pricing and discounts so lifesaving work is not interrupted by disruptions in the market. The federal government bulk purchases vaccines to ensure against public health epidemics which could also serve as a potential model for naloxone affordability and accessibility. This problem will not be solved by one organization or company alone, and requires the commitment and cooperation of all stakeholders. The Harm Reduction Coalition stands ready to work with pharmaceutical manufactures, Congress, the Administration, public health leaders and other stakeholders on solutions to price increases incurred by community based programs.

Designed & Developed by Firefly Partners