Opioid overdose antidote marks its one-year anniversary
Since the launch of Narcan (naloxone HCl 4 mg nasal spray) in February 2016, more than 730,000 doses have been distributed or donated nationwide to law enforcement, state and local health departments, harm reduction groups, community-based organizations, schools, patients and caregivers, Adapt Pharma said Tuesday. Narcan provides a ready-to-use, needle-free alternative to currently available opioid overdose emergency treatments, the company noted.
“Most opioid overdose deaths happen in nonmedical settings like homes, and an increasing proportion involve synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, making the availability of community-ready naloxone products more important than ever,” according to Seamus Mulligan, chief executive officer of Adapt Pharma. “Our mission is to expand access to Narcan Nasal Spray by ensuring affordability and removing barriers for both first responders as well as providers and patients.”
One way Adapt Pharma has been facilitating access to Narcan is by partnering with pharmacies.
The company said that since many states and retail pharmacies allow residents to buy Narcan directly from a pharmacist without a prescription, it has worked with national pharmacy retailers — such as CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens, Rite Aid and Albertsons — to improve in-store availability and awareness as well as reduce out-of-pocket costs for those paying cash.
Adapt Pharma, too, has contracted for broad coverage of Narcan via insurance. The company said 94% of insured lives in the United States have coverage for Narcaon. According to data from IMS Health reported by Adapt Pharma, 74% of prescriptions for Narcan now have a co-payment of $10 or less.
Meanwhile, Adapt Pharma has helped maintain a stable discounted price and free Narcan to those serving the public. Local and state government agencies, harm reduction groups, emergency responders and other nonprofits continue to be able to buy the opioid overdose antidote at the discounted public interest price of $75 per two-dose pack ($37.50 per dose). The company noted that the price hasn’t been increased since its rollout. Adapt Pharma also has launched an experience program in which thousands of doses of Narcan were donated to public entities in areas of the country most in need.
“In its first year of availability, Narcan Nasal Spray filled the need of thousands of Americans who were faced with reversing an opioid-related overdose,” commented Mike Kelly, president of U.S. operations for Adapt Pharma. “In year two, we plan to continue expanding affordable access to Narcan Nasal Spray, supporting guidelines focused on prescribing naloxone to persons at high risk of overdose while taking opioid medications.”
Adapt Pharma also is continuing its collaboration with the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) to expand educational efforts to boost awareness of opioid-related risks among students, educators, families and communities. Through the Free Narcan Nasal Spray High School Program, the company has supplied more than 3,000 doses of Narcan free to high schools in 32 states. Adapt Pharma added that it also continues to increase awareness of today’s opioid epidemic through testimonials and educational videos available online and via social media.