California Politics | California is partnering with a New Jersey company to buy a generic opioid overdose medication

SACRAMENTO — California is partnering with a New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company to purchase a generic version of Narcan, the drug that may save someone's life in an opioid overdose, under a deal announced Monday by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom .

Amneal Pharmaceuticals will sell naloxone to California for $24 per pack, about 40% cheaper than the market price. California will distribute the packs freed from charge to first responders, universities and community organizations as a part of the state's naloxone distribution project.

The deal is important since it means California should buy so much more naloxone — 3.2 million packs in a 12 months as an alternative of two million — for a similar total cost.

The deal means naloxone will eventually be available under the CalRx label. Newsom first proposed CalRx in 2019 to force drug corporations to lower their prices offers less expensive, competing versions life-saving medications. He signed a law In 2020, the ability might be transferred to the state.

California governments and businesses should purchase naloxone outside of the naloxone distribution project, the Newsom administration said, adding the state is working on a plan to make it available on the market to non-public individuals.

“California is disrupting the pharmaceutical industry with CalRx – securing life-saving medicines at lower and transparent prices,” Newsom said in an announcement from his office.

Naloxone has been available with no prescription within the United States since March 2023 The US Food and Drug Administration has approved Narcana nasal spray brand from Maryland-based pharmaceutical company Emergent BioSolutions.

Amneal Pharmaceuticals makes a generic equivalent of Narcan, which received FDA approval last week.

The naloxone packs initially purchased by California might be available under the Amneal brand. The naloxone will switch to the CalRx label once it’s approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a process that would take several months, in keeping with the Newsom administration.

California began freely giving free naloxone kits in 2018. State officials say the Naloxone Distribution Project has distributed 4.1 million kits, reversing a reported 260,000 opioid overdoses. The money comes from taxpayers and is a component of a nationwide settlement agreement with several other pharmaceutical corporations.

Last 12 months, California lawmakers agreed to spend $30 million to work with a pharmaceutical company to make its own version of naloxone. Ultimately, they didn't have to spend that cash on this deal because Amneal Pharmaceutical was already far enough along within the FDA approval process that it didn't require upfront funding from the federal government.

Instead, California will use a portion of the revenue it receives from a national opioid settlement to buy the drugs.

Naloxone is only one drug targeted by the Newsom administration.

Last 12 months, California signed a 10-year contract partnered with nonprofit Civica to supply CalRx brand insulin, used to treat diabetes. California has put aside 100 million dollars for this project$50 million is earmarked for drug development and the remaining is earmarked for investment in a producing facility. Newsom said a 10-milliliter vial of state-brand insulin would sell for $30.

Civica has met with the FDA and “has a clear path forward,” the Newsom administration said.

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