California will provide opioid overdose reversal drugs at no cost to first responders and universities

Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Monday that California will be offering a complimentary generic version of Narcan, the opioid overdose reversal drug, to first responders, universities, and other eligible organizations.

CalRx’s Naloxone Access Initiative is set to purchase over-the-counter naloxone at a significantly reduced price of $24 per pack. This initiative, led by California Governor Gavin Newsom, aims to make this life-saving medication more accessible to those who need it most. The naloxone will be sourced from Amneal Pharmaceuticals, a reputable manufacturer based in New Jersey. This move is expected to greatly benefit individuals and communities affected by opioid overdoses, as they will now have access to this vital medication at a more affordable cost.

The state has reached a new agreement that allows them to purchase 3.2 million twin packs of the drug, a significant increase from the previous purchase of 2 million at the previous price.

In a statement, Governor Newsom praised California’s initiative, CalRx, for its groundbreaking efforts in reshaping the drug industry. He highlighted the significant impact of CalRx in securing life-saving drugs at more affordable prices while also promoting transparency in pricing.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recently given its approval for the over-the-counter sale of Narcan, the leading brand of naloxone, in March 2023. In a recent development, the FDA has also granted approval for the generic version of Narcan spray manufactured by Amneal Pharmaceuticals.

In 2019, the state launched CalRX, an initiative aimed at partnering with generic and biosimilar drug manufacturers to provide more affordable options for insulin and other medications. The primary objective is to address drug shortages and encourage pharmaceutical companies to decrease their prices, resulting in cost savings for both the state and its residents.

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Every year, opioid overdoses and accidental ingestion claim the lives of thousands of Californians. In an effort to combat this alarming statistic, state health officials have taken action by distributing millions of naloxone kits at no cost.

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