CLARKSTOWN, N.Y. -- Alleged price gouging by pharmaceutical companies that sell the anti-opioid drug naloxone is putting people’s lives at risk, says State Sen. David Carlucci, D-Rockland/Westchester.
To combat this, Carlucci said he has introduced legislation that will allow the state attorney general to bring a civil action against any manufacturer accused of price gouging.
The bill, the senator added, would allow a court to impose a civil fine of up to $1 million and order restitution to affected consumers.
Carlucci also released a report this week detailing what he called an “alarming” increase in the price of the medication, which is used to revive people who have overdosed on heroin and other dangerous narcotics.
Carlucci said that the report found that sales of naloxone quadrupled to $81.9 million in 2015 from $21.3 million in 2011.
During this time period, the senator said, the largest of of the five main manufacturers, Amphastar, raised the per dose cost to $41 from $12.
Jason Shandell, Amphastar’s, chief executive officer, blamed the cost rise on increased manufacturing costs, however he saw a salary increase of more than $1 million between 2014 and 2015, Carlucci said.
The report also found other companies such as Pfizer had jacked up the price of naloxone, the generic name for Narcan, by 1,717 percent, while another manufacturer, Kaleo, increased theirs by 652 percent, Carlucci said.
The senator made his presentation to the Rockland Council on Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependence and local emergency medical service providers.
In 2014, Carlucci co-chaired a bi-partisan task force on the issue. Since then, he has hosted naloxone training sessions and town hall meetings.
More than 400 people in the Hudson Valley have now been trained in the use of naloxone, Carlucci said.