Health | California reaches agreement on cheaper overdose drugs

California struck a brand new deal Monday with Amneal Pharmaceuticals to extend the state's supply of the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone at a much lower cost for schools, police departments and others trying to cut back exposure to fentanyl.

The deal would set the value for a two-dose pack of FDA-approved naloxone, often known by the brand name Narcan, at $24, a 40% decrease from the present purchase price, state officials said at a news conference Monday .

According to California Department Director Elizabeth Landsberg, this lower cost will allow the state's health departments to “stretch the dollars from the Opioid Settlement Fund even further” and buy much more life-saving medications than they may otherwise afford Health care.

A teacher takes a closer look at Narcan nasal spray used in the event of a fentanyl overdose during a Narcan training for John Swett Unified School District teachers at Rodeo Hills Elementary School in Rodeo, Calif., on Friday, Dec. 9, 2022 Revival of students.  (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)
A teacher takes a better have a look at Narcan nasal spray utilized in the event of a fentanyl overdose during a Narcan training for John Swett Unified School District teachers at Rodeo Hills Elementary School in Rodeo, Calif., on Friday, Dec. 9, 2022 Revival of scholars. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

States including California have been awarded billions of dollars from settlements with several pharmacies and drug distributors that were sued for his or her roles in fueling the opioid epidemic.

This discount on government-funded naloxone doesn't necessarily translate into lower prices at the pharmacy for on a regular basis shoppers, where naloxone typically costs about $45 per two-dose package, experts say. However, this implies the state can send more naloxone to nonprofits, schools, police departments and other organizations which might be currently eligible without cost doses from the state plan.

Naloxone is a protected and easy-to-use nasal spray that might be given to people of all ages affected by an opioid overdose. In 2022, a record 7,385 Californians died from opioid overdoses. The overwhelming majority of those deaths, 6,473, were fentanyl-related.

“California is disrupting the pharmaceutical industry… securing life-saving medicines at lower and transparent prices,” said Governor Newsom. “As we continue to work to bring $30 insulin to market, the state is now poised to purchase life-saving naloxone for nearly half the current market price – maximizing taxpayer dollars and saving more lives with this miracle drug.”

In the Bay Area last yr, fentanyl penetrated deeper into the crib, killing three Bay Area infants and toddlers over a six-month period, including three-month-old San Jose baby Phoenix Castro, who was sent home from the hospital Her father became a drug addict despite a social employee's warnings that she was unsafe.

The state's latest partnership with Amneal Pharmaceuticals isn’t without controversy. The pharmacy group is a named defendant in dozens of lawsuits across the country accusing it of using deceptive marketing practices to distribute opioids, in lots of cases after downplaying their addictive potential.

Last yr, Gov. Gavin Newsom called for the state to make its own naloxone, but there are not any concrete plans yet for when and the way this shall be achieved. State officials said the three-year contract with Amneal Pharmaceuticals will fill the gap while they struggle to develop their very own production plan.

California's move to buy naloxone stands in stark contrast to efforts by some states like Idaho where the legislature has The goal was to limit who has access to overdose-reversal medications.

Chelsea Shover, an assistant professor of drugs at UCLA, said the state Naloxone distribution The effort was incredibly vital in providing people on the front lines of the opioid crisis with a life-saving medication they won’t otherwise have the opportunity to afford.

“It allows naloxone to get into the hands of people who are most likely to respond in the event of an overdose,” Shover said.

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