Opioid associated overdoses have risen so dramatically that covering what to do is now covered in every CPR AED course. Bystanders should begin CPR immediately and then call for help, and then administer naloxone if it is available.
But like the press we’ve seen on Epinephrine and Epi-Pens, the cost of naloxone and Narcan has risen steeply as well. This story from CNBC is a bit of a long read, but a good one. A member of an instructor forum I belong to posts really good studies and articles for the group.
Facts I learned from the article is that over 33,000 people died due to overdoses in 2015. More than were killed by gun violence. And the price of naloxone and Narcan has risen steadily. While there is a difference in the drugs full cost and what consumers will pay with insurance, we are all still footing that bill whether directly from our pocket or through our insurance premiums.
The increase in cost to access naloxone is not just felt by the consumer. It’s also felt by your local municipality, emergency responders, and ambulance service. They need to have life-saving medications on hand and spend a lot of money purchasing them. Which we also are funding through taxes and billing fees. We are all paying for these life-saving medications and it’s a shame that they are beginning to become less affordable to those who will need them.