State Reaches Agreement with Amphastar Providing
Rebates for State and Municipal Naloxone Purchases, Will Receive
Donation of 500 Doses of Life-saving Drug from Kaléo
The state has reached an agreement with California drug-manufacturer Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. that will provide a $6 rebate for every dose of naloxone – also known by the brand name Narcan – that is purchased by a state, municipal or local town agency in Connecticut, Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Attorney General George Jepsen announced today.
Governor Malloy and Attorney General Jepsen also announced that the state Department of Public Health (DPH) has requested and will receive a donation of 500 doses of Evzio® (naloxone hydrochloride) auto-injectors from Virginia-based pharmaceutical company Kaléo, Inc. DPH will distribute Evzio® to the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Department of Corrections and certain DPH community naloxone distribution programs, known as OPEN Access CT.
Naloxone is a medication used to counter the effects of an opioid overdose. In recent years, Connecticut has enacted and begun to implement new laws increasing the drug's availability to law enforcement, first responders and others in response to a nationwide epidemic of opioid abuse, including increased rates of heroin overdoses and prescription opioid drug abuse.
"Addiction is a complex issue that requires a coordinated, multi-faceted approach. Access to Narcan is critical. That's why we've broken down barriers to boost accessibility, that's why we've changed our laws and equipped first responders with it, and that's why we're pleased to make this announcement today," Governor Malloy said. "We need to continue taking steps to mitigate this alarming trend, and this is a step in that direction."
"We know for a fact that naloxone saves lives: it has saved lives in Connecticut, and it has saved lives across the country," Attorney General Jepsen said. "While access to naloxone will not solve the opioid epidemic that has gripped every community and every demographic in our state, it is a critical tool for law enforcement, first responders and addiction treatment advocates as we all work to address this crisis. I would strongly encourage local police and fire departments, school districts and municipal agencies who have not yet instituted a naloxone program to take advantage of this opportunity to equip their personnel."
The agreement with Amphastar will provide a $6 per-dose rebate for the purchase of naloxone either directly from Amphastar or from a third party. The retail price of naloxone currently ranges from approximately $33 to $60 per dose depending on the distributor and volume of purchase. Amphastar has pledged not to increase its wholesale acquisition cost per dose of naloxone for a period of one year; if the wholesale cost is increased, the rebate amount will be increased as well. The rebates will be available for one year commencing in March 2016. Amphastar has reached similar agreements with other states, including New York, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Accidental overdose deaths have increased dramatically in Connecticut, from 357 in 2012 to 723 in 2015, according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. This year, Governor Malloy has introduced legislation
, which is currently being considered by the General Assembly, to combat opioid overdoses. That bill will require municipalities to update their existing emergency medical services plans to ensure that the primary emergency response provider on the scene of an emergency call is equipped with and prepared to administer naloxone and has been appropriately trained to do so. It also prohibits commercial health carriers from requiring prior authorization for coverage of naloxone.
Since 2011, Governor Malloy introduced and signed into law several new measures that position Connecticut as a leader in the fight to prevent substance abuse and opioid overdose. Those include:
• The 2011 adoption of Good Samaritan laws protecting individuals from prosecution for minor drug crimes who seek medical attention for a friend experiencing an overdose (Public Act 11-210
• The 2012 adoption of third-party prescriber laws allowing the prescription of naloxone to an individual who is not the direct user of the drug (Public Act 12-159
• The 2014 expansion
of Good Samaritan protections for any person who, in good faith, administers naloxone to save a life (Public Act 14-61
• The 2015 legislation
that expanded prescriber education, made use of the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) mandatory for all prescribers of controlled substances, expanded the scope of practice for pharmacists to allow them to directly prescribe naloxone and reconstituted the Alcohol and Drug Policy Council (ADPC) as a statewide coordinating body to fight the spread of substance abuse and overdose (Public Act 15-198
Assistant Attorneys General Joseph Nielsen and Michael Cole, chief of the Antitrust and Government Program Fraud Department, are assisting the Attorney General with this matter.
Office of the Governor:
Office of the Attorney General:
Jaclyn M. Falkowski