STATES CHRONICLE – As the war against opioid addiction keeps going, perhaps Missouri will be able to be soon at an advantage against the harrowing drug. A bill has been signed into law which will allow Missouri pharmacists to sell the opioid overdose antidote drug naloxone.
Naloxone is commonly marketed as Narcan, a drug which has been proven to be effective against opioid overdose cases. In Illinois, in DuPage County, Narcan is being applied to overdose victims by specially trained police officers.
The bill allowing pharmacists to sell naloxone was signed by Governor Jay Nixon. Steve Lynch sponsored the bill and hopes that the drug will be able to help addicts now that it is accessible from pharmacies.
Steve Lynch stated that it would most likely be up to friends and family of anyone currently addicted to opioids, such as heroin or fentanyl, to save users from an overdose. People afflicted with opioid addiction are more likely to spend any resources they obtain on drugs, rather than an overdose antidote.
Opioid overdoses are quite lethal, as they have a very narrow window in which naloxone can be administered. Naloxone could save somebody from an overdose death if administered in up four minutes, with some fortunate cases surviving after receiving the antidote after seven minutes.
With such a small counter-intervention time, EMTs could arrive too late at the scene. Naloxone has a greater chance of making a difference in saving lives if it is on hand, leaving family members and friends as most likely to buy it and administer it.
However, there are now reports which state that several naloxone manufacturers which supply Missouri have increased their prices. It is a disappointing reality where drug manufacturers catch wind that the popularity of a drug will be growing and decide to increase its sale price.
The reality is that drug manufacturers stand to make a profit either way since there will be a demand for a drug which they now have the authorization to sell. Raising the price, however, makes the drug inaccessible to a large part of the population.
Missouri officials have begun negotiations in the name of the people, and a change of tone from the manufacturers is expected in as soon as a few weeks.
Both Governor Jay Nixon and Representative Steve Lynch are hell-bent on making opioid overdose and addiction in Missouri a thing of the past.
Governor Nixon had previously also signed a bill which allowed emergency medical teams to administer naloxone to overdose patients. He also wishes to instate a prescription drug monitorization program which will allow the identification and tracking of people who fill out multiple drug prescriptions.
Representative Lynch has also been trying to instate a 911 Good Samaritan bill. The bill would encourage anyone near an opioid overdose to call 911 as it will offer limited immunity to people found at the scene under the effects of drugs, or in possession of a small amount of narcotics.
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