State Sen. David Carlucci, (D-Rockland/Westchester) praised a recent deal between the state and a pharmaceutical company that makes Naloxone, said it would increase accessibility to the life-saving drug to thousands of New Yorkers.
State Attorney General, Eric T. Schneiderman and Amphastar Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced last week that a contract between the two would be extended for a year, Carlucci said.
Under the agreement, the per-dose cost of the drug, which counters the effect of overdoses from opioids like heroin and morphine, will be cut to $27 from $33, the senator said.
According to Schneiderman’s office, Amphastar will cover a $6 rebate per dose, which will automatically increase “dollar for dollar, to match future growth in the wholesale price.”
The rebate will be available not only to the state, but to all public entities, including the state Department of Health, New York City, the governments of individual counties and the drug treatment centers and “harm reduction programs” they fund, the attorney general said.
The agreement served as a national model that was adopted last year by other states, including Delaware, Ohio, and Rhode Island, Schneiderman’s office said.
“The price reduction announced today will save lives and help agencies across New York fight the scourge of heroin abuse,” Schneiderman said.
According to Schneiderman, more than half of New York City’s 782 drug-related overdoses were due to heroin in 2013. The same year, he said, there were almost 20,000 hospitalizations related to heroin use around the state.
Nationwide, fatal overdoses from heroin doubled from 2010 to 2012, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In addition to negotiating a price reduction for Naloxone, the attorney general launched the Community Overdose Prevention program in 2014. The program, which was supported by $5 million of joint federal-state criminal and civil forfeiture money, helped equip every state and local law enforcement officer with Naloxone kits, Schneiderman said.
Carlucci said that the “availability of Naloxone for New Yorkers shouldn’t come down to dollars and cents.”
“Every New Yorker should have access to this life-saving drug,” the senator added, saying the deal will “provide another tool for state agencies to battle the heroin epidemic, which has already taken the lives of too many of our friends and neighbors.”
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