Massive price hike for lifesaving overdose medication, Naloxone

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Davenport, Iowa - Naloxone is used to reverse the dangerous effects of a drug overdose, but the lifesaving drug has now more than doubled in price.

Medic EMS in Davenport has been using Naloxone for years. It reverses heroin and opioid overdoses.

"It`s exciting to be able to provide that drug to them that's lifesaving," said Chuck Gipson, from Medic EMS.

However, that lifesaving drug comes at a big cost, that's becoming even bigger.

Recent reports show the drug maker Kaleo Pharmaceuticals, which manufactures the injector device containing Naloxone, has raised its price from $690 in 2014 to $4,500 now. That's more than six times the original cost.

"If they don`t have the means to have that you wonder why it`s even available to them if it's not obtainable," said Gipson.

Gipson says Medic EMS uses a different device so it won't see a price increase, but that's not the case for everyone.

"If the price continues to increase the chances of them having that, using it prior to arrival is going to become slimmer and slimmer," said Gipson.

Gipson says if fewer people use it, there will be more calls coming into EMS.

"If they don`t have that then the amount of time it takes us to get there, is the amount of time that they are unresponsive, possibly not breathing or in cardiac arrest," said Gipson.

It could come down to life or death for the people Gipson is trying to save, "The amount of time it takes for police, fire or EMS to arrive, to administer the professional care, on that time without perfusion to those vital organs you know is vital to survival."

31 U.S Senators have sent a letter to the pharmaceutical company asking for answers on why it has raised the price.