As part of a larger package of bills aiming to prevent overdoses and address the state’s substance abuse crisis, Assembly Democrats Anthony Verrelli, Daniel Benson and Jamel Holley sponsor a bill requiring the retail price of certain opioid antidotes to be published online.
Each year, more than 3,000 lives are lost in New Jersey to overdoses. Opioid antidotes such as naloxone – commonly known as Narcan – can help save the life of someone experiencing an overdose.
Under the bill (A-5595), the retail price of drugs approved by the Federal Drug Administration to treat opioid overdoses must be included in the ‘New Jersey Prescription Drug Retail Price Registry.’ The registry indicates the retail price of certain medicines and allows consumers to search for the lowest price in a given area.
Upon the bill being advanced by the Assembly Health Committee on Monday, sponsors Verrelli, Benson and Holley issued the following joint statement:
“If a resident goes to their local pharmacy to purchase an opioid antidote and finds the price is simply too high for them to pay, they won’t have that medicine on-hand if someone in their life ever experiences an overdose. Having immediate access to an opioid antidote in the event of an emergency can ultimately mean the difference between life and death.
“With overdoses tragically far too common in our state, we need to make it easier for our community members to acquire these life-saving medicines. Including opioid antidotes on our state’s registry will allow residents to easily find the lowest possible price for these prescription drugs and seek out the pharmacies selling them at an affordable rate.”
The legislation now heads to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.