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Concerns over naloxone's cost lead to agreement with drug maker

September 1, 2015
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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Complaints from Massachusetts local officials that the per-dose cost of the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone were soaring have led to a payment agreement between the drug's manufacturer and the state.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey on Aug. 31 announced that California-based Amphastar Pharmaceuticals has agreed to pay the state $325,000, with the money going into a bulk purchasing trust fund that will allow local communities to purchase the drug directly from the state Department of Public Health. The announcement coincided with a worldwide commemoration of International Overdose Awareness Day.

First responders in a number of Massachusetts communities had reported in recent months that naloxone doses that not long ago were costing around $22 had risen to nearly $70 a dose before stabilizing around the $40s range. Healey said in a news conference that the bulk purchasing arrangement will allow communities to acquire the overdose reversal drug at the best price going forward.