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Expanding access to life-saving naloxone for all Californians.

Press release: California Takes First Step in Creating Its Own Naloxone Supply (en Español)

For further information and to participate in the RFI, interested parties can visit the CaleProcure site.

Naloxone is a crucial tool in combating the opioid epidemic.

The ongoing opioid overdose crisis in California highlights the need to prevent overdoses and make sure people have access to the right treatment. Naloxone is a medicine that can help save lives during an overdose, and it is crucial to make it easier for everyone to get.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved an over-the-counter nasal spray called Narcan, which contains naloxone. This is good news because it means more people can get naloxone without a prescription. However, it might not be enough to help everyone who needs it, especially those with low income or no health insurance.

One of the reasons why naloxone is hard to get for some people is because it can be expensive. Studies show that the price of naloxone has gone up a lot in recent years, making it harder for individuals and governments to afford.

That is why CalRx is launching the Naloxone Access Initiative. It is a program that aims to make prescription drugs, like naloxone, more affordable for people in California.

More people will be able to access naloxone and save lives.

Why is this initiative so important?

The opioid epidemic has had a devastating impact on individuals, families, and communities across the United States. The California Department of Public Health’s Opioid Overdose Surveillance Dashboard, provides data on opioid overdoses in California over the past three years and highlights that the crisis has resulted in a significant increase in opioid-related overdoses and deaths, creating a public health emergency that requires urgent access.

Fentanyl is the most commonly involved opioid in overdose deaths in California, accounting for 63% of opioid overdose deaths in 2020.  There are significant geographic disparities in opioid overdose rates in California, with some counties experiencing much higher overdose rates than others.

One of the key strategies to combat the opioid crisis is overdose prevention, which involves implementing measures to save lives during opioid overdoses. Naloxone, a medication also known by the brand name Narcan, is a highly effective tool in reversing opioid overdoses and preventing fatalities.

Naloxone works by quickly blocking the effects of opioids in the body and restoring normal breathing, providing a critical window of time for emergency medical intervention.

How can an affordable naloxone nasal product make a difference?

Affordability plays a vital role in ensuring widespread access to naloxone, particularly for vulnerable populations such as low-income, uninsured, or underinsured individuals.

High-cost barriers can limit access to naloxone, exacerbating the crisis and preventing individuals from obtaining this life-saving medication when they need it the most.

Access to affordable naloxone is crucial because it empowers not only medical professionals but also individuals, families, and community members to respond effectively to opioid overdoses in real-time, potentially saving lives.

How can the CalRx Naloxone Access Initiative help address the opioid crisis?

Through the CalRx Naloxone Access Initiative, we will work with a pharmaceutical partner or partners who can develop, make, and distribute naloxone nasal spray at a much lower cost. The State of California is providing $30 million to support this project, which will help with research, manufacturing, and getting FDA approval.

Our goal is to offer naloxone at a single, affordable price that everyone can afford. A more affordable version of this life-saving medication will enable state programs to purchase more supply and to reduce financial barriers for other purchasers, particularly community-based organizations and individuals and families.

Discover additional information about how California is working to combat the opioid crisis through the Naloxone Distribution Project.

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