The Actual Cost Of Naloxone Is About A Nickle. So Why Is The Overdose Reversal Drug Priced At Over $4,000?
A new report found that Kaleo, a Virginia pharmaceutical company, raised the price of its opioid overdose reversal drug by more than 600 percent in 2016 as a way to "capitalize on the opportunity."
Evzio: The Opioid Overdose-Reversal Drug With A $4000+ Price Tag
Drug companies jacking up the price of life-saving medications can seem arbitrary, cruel, and even scandalous. The infamous CEO Martin Shkreli hiked the price of Daraprim, a drug used by AIDS patients to fend off infections, from $13.50 To $750 for one pill. The company Mylan raised the cost of the Epipen that reverses anaphylactic shock caused by allergies 500%, from $100 to $600. And now there's the case of Evzio. It's a talking auto-injector with naloxone, the antidote to reverse opioid overdoses. It's easy to use for people with no medical training. The actual drug naloxone can cost as little as a nickel a dose, according to industry insiders. But Evzio costs a lot more: its price tag is over $4,000. (Stahl, 11/18)
Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Drug Company Raised Opioid Treatment Price By 600 Percent To Capitalize On Crisis, Says New Report From Sen. Rob Portman
"The fact that one company dramatically raised the price of its naloxone drug and cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars in increased drug costs, all during a national opioid crisis, no less, is simply outrageous," [Sen. Rob] Portman continued, pledging his subcommittee will "continue its efforts to protect taxpayers from drug manufacturers that are exploiting loopholes in the Medicare and Medicaid system in order to profit from a national opioid crisis." (Eaton, 11/18)
In other news on the crisis —
The Wall Street Journal:
Opioid Industry Takes New York To Court Over New Levy
Opioid makers and distributors are fighting a novel New York state law that aims to collect hundreds of millions of dollars from the industry to help defray costs of the opioid crisis, with some companies re-engineering their supply chain to avoid the new tax. Companies and trade groups have argued in three legal challenges filed in recent months that the law, which seeks $600 million over six years, is unconstitutional. They point to a lawsuit New York’s attorney general has already filed against major opioid industry players to recoup money for the state, and say the tax is an improper end-run around resolution of that case. (Randazzo, 11/19)
The Associated Press:
Virginia County Gets Approval To Open Needle Exchange
A county in Southwest Virginia plans to open the state’s third needle exchange. The Roanoke Times reports that the state has given Smyth County permission to open an exchange in Marion. State health department HIV prevention planner Bruce Taylor said an opening date hasn’t been set yet and local funding hasn’t yet been secured. (11/18)