Ohio Attorney General DeWine Announces Agreement with Naloxone Manufacturer

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and the State of Ohio have reached an agreement with naloxone manufacturer Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc., regarding rebates for public entities that purchase Amphastar naloxone within the next year. As part of the agreement, Amphastar has agreed to provide a $6 rebate for each Amphastar naloxone syringe purchased by non-federal public entities in Ohio between March 2, 2015, and March 1, 2016.  

The agreement is in response to a letter sent by Attorney General DeWine to Amphastar after the company dramatically increased its price for the life-saving drug. When given to a person overdosing on heroin or a prescription opioid, naloxone can limit or stop the overdose by reversing the effects of the opioid on the brain. Public entities that qualify for the rebates include, but are not limited to, law enforcement agencies, the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Project DAWN (Deaths Avoided with Naloxone), community programs, and county and local governments. If Amphastar raises its wholesale price of naloxone during the term of the agreement, the company has also agreed to increase the rebate amount.

Ohio, like many other states, has been severely plagued by the opiate epidemic, with heroin contributing to as many as 18 overdose deaths a week in 2013. Naloxone was administered to counter opioid overdoses an estimated 74,000 times in Ohio between 2003 and 2012, with more than 10,500 of those doses administered in 2012 alone. The AMCNO strongly supported legislation in the last General Assembly, HB 170, which took the first significant step to increase access to naloxone in Ohio. There are now several programs in Ohio that allow for the distribution of naloxone, which has resulted in increased access to this lifesaving drug, including Project DAWN in Northeast Ohio. 

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