Naloxone Profiteering Worries as Kit Orders Rise, Prices Soar

Addiction Treatment Industry Newswire
12/02/2014 -ATIN – As police departments nationwide have made it policy for their officers to carry the drug naloxone, the opiate overdose lifesaver that when administered immediately reverses the cardio-pulmonary shutdown produced when too large a dose of opiates is taken, there are worries that profiteering may be going on as the price of the naloxone “kits” used by the police and EMR workers have skyrocketed, according to published reports by as much a 50 percent.

“Timing is Pretty Noticeable” According to published reports, workers at needle-exchange programs and other such programs where naloxone has long been available say that prices for years for the drug had been pretty steady. The workers have said in various published reports that when all of a sudden dozens and dozens of police departments from across the country, large and small, began to implement policies about officers carrying the drug and then began to place large orders for kits with manufacturers like Amphastar and others that all off a sudden prices have in recent months begun to rise very rapidly. “The timing is pretty noticeable,” one worker told a reporter, with manufacturers by and large refusing to comment on the price increases, with some saying manufacturing costs had risen – the opposite of what one would expect with larger orders in most businesses, although drug manufacturing can sometimes not work according to typical “economy of scale” economic theories.

Local DA’s Very Disappointed

The DA in Monmouth County, NJ, located along the coast in the central part of the state about 40 minutes from Manhattan, said he was extremely disappointed at the price increases as it’s his office that pays for the drug and then distributes it to various police departments across the county. The Monmouth County DA told reporters that he was hoping that with the larger orders he was placing with manufacturers like Amphastar that he would in fact be able to negotiate significant discounts for the naloxone kits.

No Such Luck

Well buyers like the Monmouth County DA have had no such luck as profits at the naloxone kit makers may be skyrocketing. Of course, it is the overdosing addict that is ultimately going to be paying the highest price here… the price of their lives as police department budgets can’t keep up, officers run out of the drug and the addict dies before other help can arrive.


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