DHSS to receive a new supply of overdose-saving naloxone drugs
The CDC says that in 2014, a total of 189 people died from suspected overdoses in Delaware. But there would have been a lot more if it weren’t for an overdose-reversing drug called naloxone.
The Division of Public Health says naloxone was administered over 1,200 times, saving close to 700 people. Now, the state has received another donation of the drug from a Virginia-based pharmaceutical company.
The donation contains 2,000 cartons of Evzio, an auto-injector form of naloxone. Evzio’s manufacturer kaléo in Richmond, Virginia also provided DHSS with the first donation of 2,000 cartons back in August.
Like last fall, the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health will distribute the supply among first responders, high school nurses, police departments and addiction treatment centers, such as Brandywine Counseling, which ran out of Evzio in December.
Naloxone can also be delivered using an intranasal spray device called Narcan. DHSS has about 200 of those left. Evzio is seen as easier to use because it requires less training and the injection devices give audible instructions, talking the user through the process.
Frann Anderson, who directs alcohol and drug services at DHSS, says officials are looking at ways to sustain supplies of Evzio and Narcan.
“As long as we have to deal with this heroin addiction, this opiate addiction, we want to make sure we have the means to help people to reverse overdose if we can," said Anderson. "We’re hoping that we can get as donations as possible, but at some point we’re going to have to look into funding the kits," said Anderson.
Each carton of Evzio would typically cost $490.