State Negotiates a Better Price for Overdose-Reversing Drug | Off Message

State Negotiates a Better Price for Overdose-Reversing Drug


Narcan kit - FILE: JAMES BUCK
  • File: James Buck
  • Narcan kit
Vermont has scored a better deal on Narcan, a drug that revives people who have overdosed on opiates. 

Attorney General Bill Sorrell announced Friday that Amphastar Pharmaceuticals has agreed to give the state a 20 percent discount off the wholesale price for the next year. Currently, Narcan runs about $30 a dose, so Vermont will get a $6 dollar rebate for each dose it purchases.

Gov. Peter Shumlin excoriated Amphastar last April for jacking up the price of Narcan. In a letter to the company, he noted that the state health department paid $113 for 10 doses in March and $183 for the same amount in April.

Demand for the drug has grown in response to the nationwide increase in prescription opiate and heroin addiction. Seven Days recently wrote about Vermont's efforts to distribute Narcan to addicts and their acquaintances, cops and drug-treatment staff.  

States including Massachusetts and Connecticut have secured similar arrangements with Amphastar.