The Obama Administration's 2016 budget proposal includes increased funding for programs designed to fight prescription drug abuse, according to The Hill.
The budget would increase funds for programs at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies.
The budget also would increase funding for states to expand their prescription drug monitoring program.
Under the budget, more funding would go toward expanding use of the opioid overdose antidote naloxone by first responders. "Every day, more than 100 people die as a result of drug overdose, and more than 6,700 are treated in emergency departments," the budget summary stated. "Abuse of prescription and illicit drugs, such as heroin, is an urgent public health concern."
Last week the Clinton Foundation announced it has negotiated a lower price for a device that delivers naloxone. The device, called Evzio, will be available at a lower price to institutions that can distribute naloxone more widely, such as police departments and universities.
The high cost of naloxone has prevented its widespread use. In some cases, prices for the drug have increased by 50 percent or more. Naloxone reverses the effects of an overdose of heroin or opioid painkillers.
The antidote has long been used by emergency rooms and paramedics. Recently, the World Health Organization said increasing the availability of naloxone could prevent more than 20,000 deaths in the United States annually. Naloxone works quickly, without side effects. A growing number of states have passed laws increasing access to the antidote.