According to the state Attorney General’s office…the heroin antidote Narcan/Naloxone has saved 361 lives in New Jersey. 477 law enforcement agencies have been trained in administering it, and 444 agencies carry it on patrol. (But)…the first round of kits cost $53. The second round shot up to $93 per kit.
“We actually thought it a was mistake, a typographical error when we got the invoice,” Mahwah Police Chief James Batelli says. “I assure you if the price of gasoline when from $2.70 to $6, the government would look into it.”
Bergen County police say they equip all their patrol cars with Narcan and the price hike seems unreasonable. “It’s difficult to keep up with. Narcan has a shelf life. So even when we don’t use it, it’s going to come a point where we have to cycle it out,” said Police Chief Brian Higgins.
The maker of Narcan — Amphastar — has not returned numerous NJTV News calls for a response to the price hike and the criticism.
“It’s disappointing,” said Frank Greenagel Jr., who chaired the New Jersey Heroin Opiate Task Force from 2012 to 2014. “As demand continues to go up someone else might enter the market and manufacture this as well and so we’ll have some competition,” he said.
And the president of the County Prosecutors Association of New Jersey Sean Dalton says, “…New Jersey law enforcement appears to be a victim of its successful rollout of the Narcan program. The manufacturer’s decision to increase the cost of this drug by 120 percent when people’s lives are at stake is reprehensible. There appears to be no reason for this increase other than a blatant opportunity to increase their profits. We are reviewing our options to address this situation.”
In the meantime, some law enforcers say they can see a day when Narcan becomes mandatory for officers to carry because it’s proven to save lives.
In an effort to stem the tide of heroin and other drug use in the county, Burlington County will hold a community summit Wednesday December 3 between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. in the Burlington County Library auditorium, located at 5 Pioneer Blvd. in Westampton.
The evening will begin with a light supper, and will feature a panel discussion led by Freeholder Director Bruce Garganio and a showing of the film “Kids Are Dying” by Michael DeLeon.
To register, click here, or call either (609) 265-5530 or (609) 265-5536.