Maryland Joins States Seeking to Lower Price of Naloxone
Amphastar is facing increasing pressure to cut the high cost of naloxone, this time in a letter from Rep. Elijah Cummings to Maryland officials urging them to negotiate a lower price for the opioid overdose reversal drug.
In a letter to Gov. Larry Hogan, Cummings (D-Md.) says the price of naloxone in Maryland jumped by 111 percent — from $19 to $41 per dose — between June 2014 and January of this year.
Attorneys general in New York and Ohio have already reached agreements with Amphastar for lower prices. An attorney for Amphastar blamed the higher cost in New York ($34.50 versus the wholesale acquisition cost of $33) on a distributor, not the company. The attorney, Bart Stupak of Venable LLP, said Amphastar agreed to rebate $6 per naloxone syringe in New York and Ohio and is working on similar agreements in several other states, including Vermont, Massachusetts and New Jersey.
Stupak also pointed out that Amphastar’s $13.87 per syringe charge to the Veterans Administration is well below the WAC and has not changed in years.
Cummings’ letter comes as stakeholders are pushing to expand naloxone use by converting it from prescription-only to over-the-counter status.
Read the letter here: www.fdanews.com/7-15-Letter-Naloxone.pdf. — Jonathon Shacat