U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Gary Peters (D-MI) penned a letter to the Dept. of Health and Human Services, urging the agency to demand that manufacturers lower the price of the opioid overdose reversal drug, naloxone.
The lawmakers wrote that the price of naloxone has climbed dramatically since it was first approved by the FDA decades ago – a two-pack of the drug’s nasal spray formulation, Narcan, costs $150, according to the senators.
When the White House’s opioid commission recommended that the president declare a national emergency over the country’s opioid epidemic, they added that the president should give HHS secretary Alex Azar the power to negotiate lower pricing of naloxone for government groups.
Just this month, U.S. surgeon general Jerome Adams issued a rare public advisory calling on the public to carry naloxone.
“No police officer, no firefighter, no public health provider, and no person should be unable to save a life because of the high price,” the lawmakers wrote. “By bringing down the cost, we can get this life-saving drug in the hands of more people as called for by the Surgeon General. Doing so will save countless lives.”
Stabenow and Peters were joined by Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Angus King (I-ME) and 12 Democrats, who signed onto the letter.