Ohio seeks its own deal with Amphastar for heroin antidote
- New York recently reached a deal to get rebates for Amphastar's naloxone, used to counteract the effects of heroin and opioid overdoses. Now, Ohio state authorities are requesting their own price cuts.
- According to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, the wholesale price of naloxone in Ohio was between $12.78 and $14.00 a vial in 2013, but jumped to $28.50 as of fall 2014. This is putting tremendous pressure on local health officials who treat addicts.
- Amphastar makes the most common formulation of naloxone used by police departments and governmental agencies to treat people who have overdosed on heroin or a prescription opioid.
Ohio's request for a rebate from Amphastar has a recent precedent in New York, where the Attorney General negotiated a $6-per-vial rebate earlier this month.
Although Amphastar stands by its contention that its prices are fair and are higher as a result of the rising costs of labor, energy, and raw materials, the president of Amphastar, Jason Shandell, has signaled that he is willing to negotiate with Ohio.
The question is: How many other states will join the rebate-requesting fray? Much of the Pacific Northwest and New England is grappling with scourge of heroin and opioid addiction. In Vermont, the crisis is so bad that Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) dedicated the entirety of his 2012 State of the State address to the epidemic. And Amphastar is sure to face some moral, as well as political, pressure to bring its prices back down to earth.