EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — “January of last year we could buy a dose of Narcan for $14. Two months ago that price was $52.” East Hartford Fire Chief John Oates is talking about the whopping increases in the price of the miracle, life saving drug, that can miraculously reverse the affects of a near death opioid drug overdose.
The price hikes are busting town and city budgets for police, fire, and EMT services. “As these costs continue to increase, there is no avenue to go back to the taxpayer and go ‘look we need more money to fund this service,” added Oates.
Compounding the crisis is the fact that Narcan only has a shelf life of about a year. It’s a statewide problem with New Haven, Seymour and Trumbull reporting 100 to 135 percent price hikes, Litchfield County reporting a 355 percent price hike, and Enfield, a 130 percent spike.
‘Amphastar Pharmaceuticals,’ which makes the stuff also makes the nasal inhaler that makes it so easy for anyone to administer. And they are the only ones that make them.
There is a lesser expensive version of the drug which must be administered by intra-muscular injection but the head of the state’s EMS advisory board, John Quinlavin, says it’s not a great option, “The alternative presents a need for significantly more training and on going training to maintain skill proficiency far beyond what is required now for the intra nasal injection.”
Sen. Richard Blumenthal has announced that he is asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate this and other large drug price hikes which he believes may be illegal, “The profiteering and price gouging has impacts on human lives, it also has consequences for taxpayers because it increases the budget.”
News 8 has reached out to ‘Amphastar’ but have not had any response.