Cost of Opioid Anti-Addiction Drug, Evzio, Soars to $4,500 a Two-Pack

A device that injects a life-saving antidote to save people who’ve overdosed on opioids has gone from $690 per two-pack in 2014 to $4,500, Kaiser Health News reports. Some of the more jaded observers of the pharmaceutical industry note that the price seems to have increased as the nation’s opioid epidemic thickens. In 2015, more than 33,000 people died from overdoses.

The device, Evzio, is manufactured by a small drug company called Kaleo. It actually talks somebody through the process of injecting naloxone, which counteracts the harmful effects of heavy painkillers and heroin. That’s one of the reasons it costs so much, say Kaleo officials.

That’s no excuse for such a huge price surge, responds Leo Beletsky, an associate professor of law and health sciences at Northeastern University in Boston. He tells Kaiser Health News that, “There’s absolutely nothing that warrants them charging what they’re charging.”

Evzio was approved by the FDA in 2014. As Kaiser Health News reports, Evzio “accounted for nearly 20% of the naloxone dispensed through retail outlets between 2015 and 2016, and for nearly half of all naloxone products prescribed to patients between ages 40 and 64—the group that comprises the bulk of naloxone users.”

Source: Kaiser Health News