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Reduced-Cost Naloxone Availability Expands (12/19/17)

Reduced-Cost Naloxone Availability Expands (12/19/17)

Author: Polly Carver-Kimm/Tuesday, December 19, 2017/Categories: IDPH News, Behavioral Health

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The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has expanded an agreement that provides the opioid overdose drug, naloxone, to certain organizations at a reduced cost. The agreement with the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) already allowed public entities (law enforcement, first responders, EMS) to purchase naloxone at a reduced rate. However, the agreement did not include other organizations, such as non-profits. Working with the Iowa Attorney General’s Office, IDPH is now able to allow non-profits that receive state funds to use the agreement to purchase naloxone at the reduced rate.

 “This is a significant step in potentially reducing opioid-related overdoses,” said IDPH Opioid Initiatives Director Kevin Gabbert. “The usual cost for purchasing naloxone through a pharmacy is around $150. By purchasing through the DAS agreement, the cost is $75.”

In an overdose situation, naloxone is given by nasal spray or injection to reverse the opioid-induced slowing of the respiratory system, allowing the person to temporarily breathe easier. “Naloxone is not a cure for an opioid overdose,” said IDPH Medical Director and State Epidemiologist, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk. “It does, however, buy time until emergency medical treatment is available.”

Organizations will still need to meet the rest of the agreement criteria, which includes having a health care professional, such as a medical director, accept responsibility for the purchase.

For more information on purchasing Naloxone using the DAS Master Agreement, please contact Kathy Harper at kathy.harper2@iowa.gov.   

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