A.G. Schneiderman Announces Agreement To Cut And Cap The Price Of Heroin Overdose Antidote For All Agencies In New York State

Rebate Will Cut Wholesale Price By Nearly 20 Percent And Cap It, Dollar-For-Dollar, Against Any Price Increases For One Year

Schneiderman: This Agreement Will Secure New York’s Access To Life-Saving Antidote

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced an agreement with Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to cut and cap the price of naloxone, a highly effective antidote that can quickly reverse an opioid overdose, for all agencies in New York State for the next year. The contract stipulates that Amphastar will offer a $6 rebate per dose, which will also automatically increase, dollar-for-dollar, to match any future growth in the wholesale price.

After Amphastar raised the price of its naloxone products last fall, the Attorney General’s office sent a letter expressing concern that the higher cost could jeopardize access to the antidote in New York State. As a result, Amphastar agreed to provide a rebate that will discount the wholesale price of naloxone by nearly 20 percent. As part of the agreement, this rebate is available not only to the Office of the Attorney General, but also all associated public entities, including but not limited to the State Department of Health, the City of New York, and the governments of individual New York counties.

“It is essential that we secure our state’s access to this powerful, life-saving antidote,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “My office responded swiftly to negotiate the best possible price of naloxone, which is an essential tool in our multifaceted approach to combat the scourge of heroin abuse in New York. This deal ensures that we can continue to give New Yorkers who have overdosed on opioids a second chance at life—and rehabilitation.”

“We commend Attorney General Schneiderman for leading the way on making lifesaving naloxone access programs financially sustainable for all New Yorkers in need,” said Terrell Jones, a member of VOCAL-NY from the Bronx. “We hope this reflects Amphastar’s recognition of the urgent need to offer fair pricing for community-based overdose prevention programs nationwide.”

The abuse of heroin and prescription drugs is a growing problem throughout New York and the United States. Opioid overdoses killed over 2,000 New Yorkers in 2011, more than double the number killed in 2004. Across the country, fatal heroin doses increased 45% from 2006-2010. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration estimates that these numbers are still on the rise. In 2013, more than half of New York City’s 782 drug-related overdoses in 2013 were from heroin.

The Attorney General’s Community Overdose Prevention (COP) program, which is supported by $5 million of joint federal-state criminal and civil forfeiture money, provides funding to equip every state and local law-enforcement officer in the state of New York with naloxone. Police departments or appropriate county or city agencies submit receipts to the Attorney General’s office and are reimbursed in full.

To date, the COP program has approved $1.8 million to supply law enforcement departments across the state with naloxone kits and train them in their use. More than 200 law enforcement agencies have applied to the COP program, which has disbursed more than 27,000 kits in less than a year. Naloxone has been used to reverse overdoses in Buffalo, Chappaqua, Syracuse, Oneida, Staten Island, Madison County, Suffolk County, Wyoming County, and elsewhere.

The Attorney General’s office has adopted a comprehensive approach toward reducing heroin and prescription drug abuse in New York State. To date, investigators have broken up 20 of the largest drug and gun trafficking gangs in the state. I-STOP, the nation’s first real-time prescription tracking system for the most addictive prescription drugs, helps prevent drug addicts from doctor shopping without burdening providers or patients who legitimately need medication. Last year, the Department of Health reported that incidents of doctor shopping went down 75% in New York in just the first 8 months of the program.

Author: Harlem Valley News