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Cuomo: No-cost or lower-cost Naloxone available at pharmacies across New York

Press Release

Tue, Aug 8th 2017 04:40 pm
First-in-the-nation program offers co-payment assistance for medicine to reverse opioid overdoses
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has announced a first-in-the-nation program to provide no-cost or lower-cost naloxone at pharmacies across New York. Beginning Wednesday, individuals with prescription health insurance coverage, including Medicaid and Medicare, will receive up to $40 in co-payment assistance, resulting in reduced cost or no cost for this lifesaving medicine. Uninsured individuals and individuals without prescription coverage will still be able to receive naloxone at no cost through New York's network of registered opioid overdose prevention programs.
"This first-in-the-nation program will help put this lifesaving treatment in more hands and is one more prong in this administration's efforts to battle heroin and opioid abuse," Cuomo said Monday. "This is one more step toward a stronger, healthier New York for all."
"Gov. Cuomo has taken bold and aggressive action to battle the substance abuse crisis head-on, and today's announcement furthers our attack on this epidemic," said Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, co-chair of the governor's task force to combat heroin and opioid addiction. "New York state is saving lives by making the lifesaving medication naloxone, which helps reverse the effects of an overdose, more accessible and more affordable."
Naloxone is a medicine used to reverse opioid overdoses. Reducing the cost of this lifesaving medication builds on Cuomo's previous action to make naloxone available in pharmacies without a prescription, which began in January 2016. Previously, New Yorkers could only receive naloxone with a prescription or through a registered opioid overdose prevention program.
As of Wednesday, New Yorkers can find co-payment information at pharmacy counters across the state and at: www.health.ny.gov/overdose. Individuals should provide this information to the pharmacist when asking for naloxone in order to receive it with no or lower out-of-pocket expense.
The Naloxone co-payment assistance program is funded by New York State's Opioid Overdose Prevention Program.
Additionally, through New York's network of registered opioid overdose prevention programs, uninsured individuals and individuals without prescription coverage will be able to receive naloxone at no cost. A full list of these programs is available HERE.
In the 2017 state budget, Cuomo invested over $200 million to fight the heroin and opioid epidemic. This support is directed at prevention, treatment and recovery programs that address chemical dependency, expand residential service opportunities and promote public awareness and education.
'Naloxone Saves Lives'
Naloxone is a prescription medication used to reverse the effects of overdoses caused by heroin, prescription pain medication and other opioids. In 2014, state agencies began working together to develop a statewide program to train law enforcement personnel on how to administer naloxone. Since the trainings began, more than 10,000 officers have been trained to administer the drug, and 3,091 officers have been certified to train other officers. 
Trained law enforcement officers across New York are saving lives with the naloxone they carry. Since April of 2014, 2,036 officers have administered naloxone to over 3,100 individuals, saving the lives of nearly 90 percent of the individuals who required assistance.
View a fact sheet on law enforcement naloxone training and usage HERE.
New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, "Naloxone is very effective at reversing opioid overdoses. Under Gov. Cuomo's leadership, New York state has taken comprehensive actions to stem the tide of opioid abuse, from increasing the number of treatment beds to making important health insurance reforms to eliminate barriers to accessing substance use services. The new copayment assistance program will make naloxone more available in communities across New York and save lives."
New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said, "By guaranteeing affordable Naloxone to all New Yorkers, we will save thousands of lives and help repair the damage done to our communities by the opioid epidemic. Saving lives is the ultimate goal of all of our prevention, treatment and recovery initiatives, and, with this latest effort, Gov. Cuomo is once again establishing New York state as a national leader in the field of addiction care."
Harm Reduction Coalition Medical Director Dr. Sharon Stancliff said, "This program will dramatically increase access to naloxone for people we haven't easily reached. These include patients being treated for pain, loved ones of people returning from drug treatment or incarceration, and people at risk in rural areas. This is a crisis and New York's copayment assistance program adds to the solution."

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