Medicine to reverse opioid overdoses now at low cost

A first-in-the-nation program to provide no-cost or lower-cost naloxone at pharmacies across New York began on Aug. 9, according to a release from the governor’s office.

People with prescription health insurance coverage, including Medicaid and Medicare, will receive up to $40 in co-payment assistance, resulting in reduced cost or no cost for the lifesaving medicine. Uninsured people or people without prescription coverage will still be able to receive naloxone at no cost through New York's network of registered opioid overdose prevention programs.

Naloxone is a medicine used to reverse opioid overdoses. Reducing its cost builds on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s previous action to make naloxone available in pharmacies without a prescription, which began in January 2016. Previously, New Yorkers could receive naloxone only with a prescription or through a registered opioid overdose prevention program.

New Yorkers can now find copayment information at pharmacy counters across the state and at: People should provide this information to the pharmacist when asking for naloxone in order to receive it with no or lower out-of-pocket expense. The Naloxone Co-payment Assistance Program is funded by New York State’s Opioid Overdose Prevention Program.

Additionally, through New York's network of registered opioid overdose prevention programs, uninsured individuals and individuals without prescription coverage will be able to receive naloxone at no cost.

In 2014, state agencies began working together to develop a statewide program to train police officers how to administer naloxone. Since the trainings began, over 10,000 officers have been trained to administer the drug and 3,091 officers have been certified to train other officers.

Since April of 2014, the release said, 2,036 officers have administered naloxone to over 3,100 people, saving the lives of nearly 90 percent of those who required assistance.

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