Opioid Overdose Antidote Naloxone More Difficult to Obtain During Pandemic

    Organizations that provide the opioid overdose antidote naloxone at an affordable price are reporting shortages of the medicine, The Washington Post reports.

    A manufacturing issue stopped Pfizer’s production of single-dose injectable naloxone in April, the article notes. The pharmaceutical company offers naloxone at a discount to a national buyer’s club consisting of harm prevention programs. The Opioid Safety and Naloxone Network Buyer’s Club says the scarcity is expected to have deadly consequences. Pfizer says it may not be able to meet demand again until February, according to Ohio Health Policy News.

    The shortage is being felt in Maine, where a nonprofit called Health Equity Alliance, which serves people with addictions and HIV/AIDS, has had to tell clients its supplies of naloxone are limited, the Portland Press Herald reports.

    “I would guess that the naloxone shortage is related to redeployment of pharmaceutical production resources to COVID-related work, as well as the general chaos in manufacturing and transport,” Leo Beletsky, professor of law and health sciences at Northeastern University, told Filter. “Pharmaceutical supply chains have been in total disarray.”

    By Partnership Staff
    August 2021

    Published

    August 2021