Rising price of heroin overdose antidote won’t affect SPD pilot program

Even with the antidote, overdoses continue to plague the city and East Precinct. Wednesday night, police and fire responded to a reported double overdose on Lakeview Blvd. We're checking for more details on the incident (Image: CHS)

Even with the antidote, overdoses continue to plague the city and East Precinct. Wednesday night, police and fire responded to a reported overdose on Lakeview Blvd. We’re checking for more details on the incident.  (Image: CHS)

A price spike for a life-saving drug won’t hamper an important Seattle Police pilot program. The price of the heroin overdose antidote naloxone has “risen as much as 17-fold in the past two years” but SPD says the price increase will not affect its ongoing pilot program.

“Right now it is not expected to impact us,” a SPD spokesperson told CHS, saying that the supply of naloxone needed for the pilot was purchased before the price increase occurred.

SPD announced the pilot in March as a way to combat the all-too-frequent heroin overdoses on Capitol Hill. As part of the 6-8 month pilot, 60 bike officers carry nasal naloxone and administer the drug when they encounter someone suffering from an opioid overdose. The officers stay with the person until medics arrive.

The funding for the pilot came in part from The Marah Project, a non-profit named after former Capitol Hill resident Marah Williams. Williams died of a heroin overdose in 2012, when she was 19 years old.

While the pilot program will not be affected by the price increase, the SPD spokesperson said that it was too early to tell whether the price increase would impact the implementation of a more extensive program after the pilot has been reviewed.

So far, SPD says that the drug has been deployed six times and all deployments have been successful. According to the SPD blotter, the most recent deployment wasthree weeks ago when two officers administered naloxone to prevent a woman from overdosing near the Alaskan Way Viaduct. After nasal naloxone was administered, the woman’s breathing stabilized and she was transported to Harborview Medical Center.

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