From Prince’s overdose to the nation’s surging epidemic, opioids have been on the tongue of every doctor, politician and civilian in recent days. While the sudden focus may make opioids seem like a new discovery, the drug has been around since the 5th century. It wasn’t really until the 1990s when physicians began to expand the treatment of pain with new prescription opioids in the market. With it, the landscape changed and marketing efforts from pharmaceutical companies grew, which then led to doctors prescribing more and more pain medications. All the while we were in the process of creating a new nation of addicts.
Today, we’re practically living in an opioid war zone. As Thom Duddy, Executive Director of Communication for AdaptPharma, gravely puts it, “We lose 90 people a day. More people will die today in the United States of opioid overdose than gun violence or car accidents.”
While naloxone, the opioid overdose reversal medication often sold as NARCAN® or Evzio, is regularly being used in the streets by first responders and harm reduction groups, Adapt Pharma’s current mission is to make the product accessible to everyday people affected by opioid dependence. This is why they’ve collaborated with the National Institute of Drug Abuse to create a device and a dose that anyone can use. Learn how naloxone saves lives, here.
In a February press release, Seamus Mulligan, Chief Executive Officer of Adapt Pharma, stated, “Most opioid overdose deaths happen in non-medical settings like homes and an increasing proportion involve synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, making the availability of community-ready naloxone products more important than ever.”
Since its 2016 entry into the commercial market, NARCAN® Nasal Spray is the first and only FDA-approved naloxone over the counter opioid antidote intended for use by laypeople. With just one push of a button, the naloxone nasal spray is just as effective as an injection in reversing an overdose due to opioids manifested by respiratory depression. There is no assembly required nor any extra steps to deploy the naloxone rescue kit, all of which makes the moment of crisis for the caregiver easier to manage.
Opioid use disorder is an epidemic that affects everyone, whether it’s consumers, insurance companies or tax payers. With this in mind, AdaptPharma is committed to making sure that everyone has affordable access to NARCAN® Nasal Spray. The product has received fast-track approval from the FDA. It’s currently covered under most Medicaids as well as 94 percent of people under commercial insurance. On top of that, Duddy adds, “Nearly three-quarters or about 73 percent of those prescriptions have a co-pay of $10 or less.”
There’s no question that the opioid epidemic isn’t going to go away any time soon and is a situation that requires all hands on deck. AdaptPharma is just one of many players that can add to the discussion. At the time of our interview, Duddy was at the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in Atlanta, an annual conference where multiple stakeholders gather to address the opioid crisis. “We’re just learning about what’s going on with the crisis in the United States,” Duddy says, “and trying to get a better understanding of how we can help.”
NARCAN® Nasal Spray counteracts the life-threatening effects of opioid overdose. Since most accidental overdoses occur in a home setting, it was developed for first responders, as well as family, friends, and caregivers. Learn more about NARCAN® Nasal Spray at www.Narcan.com.