Tags: Health Topics | heroin | overdose | naloxone | treatment | drug | increase

Company Increases Heroin Overdose Treatment Price Five-Fold

Image: Company Increases Heroin Overdose Treatment Price Five-Fold

Paramedic supervisor Jeff Tye holds naloxone nasal spray in Framingham, Mass. (Ken McGagh/The Metro West Daily News via AP)

By    |   Friday, 03 Feb 2017 07:39 PM

A small Virginia company has jacked up the price five-fold for a common treatment for heroin overdoses in a reported effort to cash in on the opioid epidemic.

Kaiser Health News reported Virginia-based Kaleo developed Evzio, an auto-injector device used to deliver naloxone, the antidote to opioid overdoses that are believed to have killed more than 33,000 people in 2015.

"And as demand for Kaleo's product has grown, the privately held firm has raised its twin-pack price to $4,500, from $690 in 2014," KHN reported.

Kaleo representatives have said the easy-to-use model justifies its exorbitant price — and note they give it free to police and emergency departments, and offer discounts to people on some insurance plans, Vocativ reported

"Given the low cost of manufacturing naloxone, a drug that's long since had its patent expire, or the device materials, it's a flimsy excuse," Vocativ writer Ed Cara argues. "One version of naloxone, for example, continues to cost around $20 a vial, which still represents a profit."

The Kaleo hike comes in the wake of pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli's company raising the price of Daraprim, a drug used to treat a rare infection often seen in people living with HIV, from $13.50 a pill to $750 in 2015. 

And last year, Mylan faced outcry for hiking the price of its EpiPens, used to treat severe allergic attacks, to over $600 per twin pack, a $500 increase from 2007. 

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A small Virginia company has jacked up the price five-fold for a common treatment for heroin overdoses in a reported effort to cash in on the opioid epidemic.
heroin, overdose, naloxone, treatment, drug, increase
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2017-39-03
Friday, 03 Feb 2017 07:39 PM
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