Should meds that quickly counteract opioid overdoses be more widely avaialbe?
RADNOR, PA. (OSBORNE) -- The makers of a medication that can reverse opioid overdoses is pushing hard to make the drug more widely available.
Tennessee has one of the worst opioid overdose problems in the nation. The latest data shows that more than 1,600 state residents died from overdoses in 2016, up 14 percent in a single year.
Pennsylvania based Adapt Pharma makes the fast acting nasal spray Narcan containing the opioid inhibitor Naloxone.
Company spokesman Thom Duddy (DUD-ee) says Tennessee has done a good job getting naloxone into the hands of overdose first responders, including police and EMS technicians. He also notes that state lawmakers recently authorized public schools to keep naloxone on hand as well.
But Duddy points out that it isn’t just illegal drug use that results in overdoses. He says many people with legitimate prescriptions also occasionally overdose on the powerful pain killers.
But whether prescribed or abused, where family, friends, or colleagues have Naloxone on hand, lives can be saved.
“We are seeing reports where, by the time law enforcement gets there, or EMS, they already have used Narcan on a patient.”
Duddy says a good case in point is the State of Massachusetts, an early adopter of broad Naloxone distribution.
“They’ve just announced that they’ve had a five percent reduction in deaths due to opioid overdoses compared to last year.”
Adapt Pharma is suggesting that Naloxone be made available with every opioid prescription.
Tennessee does currently allow pharmacists to sell Naloxone without a prescription to anyone they believe may be at risk.
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