Naloxone reimbursement extended


By Frank Lewis - flewis@civitasmedia.com



With the increase of the usage of drugs like heroin and most recently, fentanyl, one of the things people have learned to keep on hand is Naloxone. When given to a person overdosing on heroin or a prescription opioid, naloxone can limit or stop the overdose by reversing the effects of the opioid on the brain.

Now, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has announced that a rebate agreement that has saved Ohio agencies nearly $400,000 on the cost of naloxone since 2015 has been extended for one year.

The renewed agreement with Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. will continue to allow non-federal public entities in Ohio to receive a $6 rebate for each on Amphastar naloxone syringes purchased until March 2, 2018.

“There is no doubt that the number of overdose deaths in Ohio would be significantly higher if not for the first responders who carry this life-saving drug,” DeWine said. “This rebate has already saved hundreds of thousands of dollars and I’m pleased that this rebate will continue for another year.”

So far, 101 agencies have been reimbursed a total of $391,672 for naloxone purchases made between March 2, 2015 and Sept. 30, 2016. Another $77,424 in rebates are currently pending for the fourth quarter of 2016.

“At a time when the country is in an overdose crisis, naloxone use has increased dramatically. And so has the cost of a dose of the medication. The price essentially doubled in just one year. This makes it really hard for public overdose response systems to keep up with the demand, especially when the need is also increasing,” Lisa Roberts, RN of the Portsmouth City Health Department, said. “So any effort to offset this price increase is good, as in this rebate system, but ideally the companies would just stop raising the costs so much in the first place. That would be really nice”.

If Amphastar raises its wholesale price of naloxone during the term of the agreement, the company will also increase the rebate amount.

A full list of agencies that have received naloxone rebates can be found on the Ohio Attorney General’s website.

Non-federal, Ohio government agencies are eligible to receive rebate payments. This includes, but is not limited to, state agencies, law enforcement agencies, fire departments, emergency medical services, county health departments, Project DAWN community programs, and county or local government agencies.

For information on how to apply for the rebates visit www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/NaloxoneRebate.

By Frank Lewis

flewis@civitasmedia.com

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.