Friday, May 23, 2014

Narcan: A Second Bite At The Apple For Big Pharma

I'm not sure that Narcan should be the top priority in responding to the opiate/heroin epidemic.
The three people were saved by the opiate antidote Narcan, a nasal spray that has been distributed to nearly all Ocean County police departments by the Prosecutor's Office in an effort to curb opiate deaths.
But officials have already seen the limits of the drug and the power of addiction.
Last week, on May 16, a 19-year-old woman in Brick who overdosed on suspected fentanyl, an opiate, was revived by Narcan, according to the Prosecutor's Office. At 10:30 the morning of May 19, police were called to her home again for a fentanyl overdose. She was pronounced dead 20 minutes later, the office said.
"Plain and simple, for some folks it's a second chance they can make good on," Prosecutor's Office spokesman Al Della Fave said. "For others, it's not. But it's a life, so you've got to take a shot that the individual will have an awakening."
Absent significant funding for treatment and education, just resuscitating addicts is like swimming against the tide. Lawmakers should start by curtailing legal access to prescription opiates, demanding transparency and accountability from pharmacies and doctors and cracking down on pill mills.

But none of those steps are profitable for the pharmaceutical indistry . . . and selling Narcan is.  So the pharmaceutical companies win twice.  They mass produce the pills that have spawned a generation of heroin addicts.  And now they're selling a treatment (not a cure!) for the problem they created.

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