Out-of-Pocket Cost of Naloxone May Keep Many Uninsured from Using Lifesaving Treatment

By Evan D. Peet: For Complete Post, Click Here…

The cost of buying the opioid antidote naloxone is out of reach for many uninsured Americans, a hurdle that may keep the treatment from saving more people who overdose on opioids, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

While laws making it easier to prescribe and obtain naloxone have increased use of the medication, the out-of-pocket cost of the drug for the uninsured has risen sharply even while falling for many who are insured.

The study found that the average out-of-pocket cost per naloxone prescription among those who have health insurance declined by 26 percent from 2014 to 2018, while out-of-pocket costs increased by more than 500 percent for people who are uninsured. Uninsured Americans are a vulnerable population that represent about 20 percent of adults with an opioid-use disorder and nearly one-third of opioid overdose deaths.

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