Express Scripts Sues Maker of Injectable Naloxone

Nalaxone
The prescription management company Express Scripts is suing the maker of the injectable naloxone drug Evzio. The price of the drug, which reverses opioid overdoses, quintupled last year. Express Scripts claims it is owed more than $14.5 million in fees and rebates related to Evzio, which is made by the drug company Kaléo. Evzio is no longer on Express Scripts’ preferred drug list, The New York Times reports. Kaléo said the price increase was meant to cover the cost of a new patient-assistance program that decreases the out-of-pocket costs for patients who cannot afford the drug. The company covers all out-of-pocket costs for patients with private insurance. For uninsured patients making less than $100,000 per year, the company offers Evzio at no cost. Critics say these programs increase the price of drugs because they leave insurance companies to pay most of the costs, particularly when a less expensive version is...
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Colleges Addressing Opioid Crisis With Naloxone and Recovery Programs

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Colleges are addressing the opioid crisis by distributing the opioid overdose antidote naloxone and adding on-campus recovery programs, The Wall Street Journal reports. Students have died from opioid overdoses at many campuses, including Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina; Washington State University and Columbus State Community College in Ohio. Adapt Pharma announced last month it would offer 40,000 free doses of its brand of naloxone, called Narcan, to colleges nationwide. So far 60 schools have contacted the company about their offer. The University of Texas at Austin stocks naloxone at the front desk of residence halls, and Idaho State University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania recently offered naloxone training. Campus Police at the State University of New York at Geneseo have been carrying naloxone since 2014.
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Free Doses of Naloxone for College Students Overdosing on Heroin and Other Opioids

Free Doses of Naloxone for College Students Overdosing on Heroin and Other Opioids
Colleges will be able to get several free doses of a drug that can reverse opioid overdoses, a sign of the widening impact of the deadly epidemic and increased efforts to combat it. The Clinton Foundation and Adapt Pharma are working together to give colleges 40,000 doses of NARCAN nasal spray, the only FDA-approved nasal spray. It is designed to be simple enough to administer that people without medical training can provide a potentially lifesaving dose. More than 33,000 people died of opioid overdoses in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), exceeding the number killed by guns for the first time. “The program has three goals: education, awareness and expansion of naloxone,” said Mike Kelly, the U.S. president of Adapt Pharma. “There’s a stigma about the disease and getting people to talk about it in an open forum, in schools, is a good place to...
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Almost 30 Percent of Fatal Opioid Overdoses Also Involve Benzodiazepines

Almost 30 Percent of Fatal Opioid Overdoses Also Involve Benzodiazepines
Nearly 30 percent of fatal opioid overdoses also involve benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, Valium or Klonopin, researchers at Stanford University have found. “It’s not news that this combination is not a good one, but despite being well known, it’s gone up over time, and more people are ending up in the hospital because of it,” lead researcher Dr. Eric Sun said. “Patients and doctors really need to think twice about this combination.” The findings come from a study of data from more than 300,000 patients who were prescribed a narcotic painkiller between 2001 and 2013, HealthDay reports. The researchers report in BMJ that 9 percent of those patients also had prescriptions for benzodiazepines in 2001. By 2013, that had risen to 17 percent. The findings raise the possibility that some of the increase in opioid-related deaths might be caused by increases in concurrent benzodiazepine/opioid use, the researchers wrote.
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Hospital Admissions For Opioid Overdoses Rose 64 Percent in Past Decade

Hospital Admissions For Opioid Overdoses Rose 64 Percent in Past Decade
Hospital admissions due to overdoses from heroin and other opioids increased 64 percent between 2005 and 2014, HealthDay reports. Over that period, hospital stays related to opioid overdoses increased from 137 per 100,000 people to 225 per 100,000. The findings come from a new report by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality report. Overdoses required at least 70 percent more hospital beds between 2009 and 2014 in North Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota and Washington. The report found in 2014, Maryland, the District of Columbia, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and West Virginia each reported rates exceeding 300 per 100,000 people—far above the national average.
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