- As the rate of heroin drug overdoses surges, two members of Congress, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), have sent a letter to heroin antidote nalaxone manufacturer Amphastar to inquire about pricing.
- Citing an article showing that prices for this antidote, which municipal health workers and police rely upon, have increased more than 50% in less than a year, the lawmakers are asking the company why it isn't offering more rebates.
- Earlier this month, New York state negotiated a $6-per-dose rebate with Amphastar. Ohio then approached the company, also asking for a rebate.
The upshot of this situation is that municipalities are being bludgeoned by rapidly increasing naloxone prices, while the rate of heroin abuse and overdose skyrockets (the national death rate more than tripled between 1999 and 2002, according to the CDC).
As lawmakers, Sanders and Cummings are attempting to use their positions to encourage Amphastar to offer a rebate to all municipalities. This makes sense because, unfortunately, heroin abuse and overdose is not limited to big states with big cities like Ohio and New York. In fact, Sanders' home state of Vermont has a full-blown addiction crisis on its hands, and heroin-related overdose and death is a national problem that may only get worse.