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Affordable Prescription Drug Task Force Calls on Administration to Reduce the Price of Naloxone

May 18, 2018
Press Release

Washington, D.C.—Today, the Affordable Prescription Drug Task Force, led by U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), joined Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) to call on the Trump Administration to step in to lower the cost of naloxone drugs. The Task Force urged the Administration to grant a request submitted by the Baltimore City Health Department and Public Citizen to use existing federal authority to address the soaring cost of naloxone drugs during the opioid crisis.  

With approximately 115 Americans dying per day from an opioid overdose, there is a true national emergency. And yet the price for naloxone, lifesaving overdose reversal drugs, has risen dramatically throughout the epidemic. In one of the most egregious price spikes, Kaleo Pharmaceuticals increased the price of its auto-injector Evzio by nearly 700%. With the increased demand for these drugs to equip police, emergency medical providers, school, families, and friends, the burden on public programs and state and city budgets has become overwhelming. 

Reps. Doggett, Cummings, and Welch were joined by Reps. Ro Khanna, Mark Pocan, Pramila Jayapal, Raul Grijalva, Keith Ellison, Rosa DeLauro, Jamie Raskin, Jan Schakowsky, Chellie Pingree, Judy Chu, Marcy Kaptur, and Michelle Lujan Grisham.

“Government-approved monopolies will continue to charge monopoly prices and exploit the opioid crisis until this Administration steps in to restrain them,” said Congressman Doggett. “Law enforcement and public health budgets are buckling under ballooning prices while overdose deaths continue to rise. The Trump Administration has the authority and responsibility to step in and lower the price of these lifesaving drugs.”

Congressman Cummings said, “The President’s own Opioid Commission recommended that the Trump Administration negotiate directly with drug companies to lower these prices, but President Trump has ignored this recommendation for the better part of a year while communities like Baltimore are forced to ration their supplies.”

“As the opioid crisis ravages communities in Vermont and across the country, the price of Naloxone is skyrocketing. It’s time for the government to stand up to price gouging by the pharmaceutical industry, said Congressman Welch. “I hope that the administration uses its authority to step in and lower the price of this lifesaving drug and end the stickup by Big Pharma that is holding hostage the suffering of American families.”

To read the letter, click here.