Earlier this month, Recovery Unplugged Texas’ very own Dr. Carlos Tirado weighed on the availability and accessibility of naloxone (Narcan) in an article published by the Texas Medical Association. The piece described the urgent need for increased Narcan availability in the lone star state, and described a law enacted last year that allows ordinary citizens to administer the drug in a non-medical setting. It also outlined the toll that opioid addiction and overdose has taken on communities all over Texas and described the state’s opioid abuse status in relation to the rest of the country. Naloxone prices have been soaring since 2014.
Dr. Tirado, who currently serves as Medical Director for Recovery Unplugged Texas, discussed why he issued a standing pharmaceutical order for naloxone through the Texas Pharmacy Association (TPA), saying he felt it was important due to the historic nature of the opioid crisis consuming Texas and the rest of the United States. He has seen firsthand the increasingly devastating impact of opioid overdose on the Texas population and has called for more proactive solutions to the problem.
In addition to Dr. Tirado’s point regarding the historic nature of Texas opioid addiction, the article highlights the dramatically increasing price of naloxone for communities that need it on a regular basis. One pharmaceutical manufacturer increased the wholesale price of its naloxone auto-injector to $4500 from under $700 in 2014. The price hikes have caught national attention; however, it has yet to be seen whether or not there will be any significant regulation or crackdown. Dr. Tirado noted that a doctor can prescribe three formulations of naloxone, and that coverage depends entirely on the patient’s prescription benefit plan and options.