The Opioid Crisis: We Shouldn’t Have To Ration Anti-Overdose Medication In Midst Of An Epidemic
Writers offer perspectives on the opioid crisis.
Narcan Saved Me From An Opioid Overdose. Trump Should Make It Cheaper.
If not for naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal medicine, I wouldn’t be here today. My story can be instructive to President Trump as he launches a drive to reduce drug prices and make sure everyone has access to the medicines they need. My girlfriend and I are both past heroin users. We live in a one-bedroom apartment in Baltimore. One night eight months ago, we finished dinner, snorted some opioids and went into the kitchen. I was washing dishes and she was putting food away when I passed out, falling face-first into the sink. Fortunately, we had naloxone, in an easy-to-administer nasal spray called Narcan. (Perry Hopkins, 5/11)
While Opioids Kill West Virginians, There's Too Much Drug Money In Politics
Our country’s opioid epidemic is killing West Virginians and tearing families apart. Our small state has suffered the highest overdose death toll in the nation and is shouldering the biggest economic burden. A recent study by the American Enterprise Institute estimates that the opioid epidemic is costing West Virginia $8.8 billion a year, with 12 percent of the state’s gross domestic product dedicated to costs related to the epidemic. So why would West Virginia’s attorney general and U.S. Senate candidate, Patrick Morrisey, settle for pennies on the dollar with Cardinal Health, the drug distributor that pumped more than 241 million prescription painkillers over a six-year period into our state of 1.8 million people? Morrisey’s ties to big pharma have been well documented. We have known that Morrisey himself lobbied for the pharmaceutical industry before becoming attorney general. But recent news confirming that his wife was lobbying federal lawmakers on opioid-related issues for Cardinal Health — the state’s leading supplier of prescription painkillers — during his first three years in office should be a wake-up call for voters in our state. (Ken Hall, 5/10)
Des Moines Register:
Iowa Legislature’s Opioid Bill Did Not Go Far Enough
We need to talk about the Iowa Legislature’s opioid bill (HF 2377). Passing through the Senate and the House unanimously this past session, the legislation is a well-intentioned attempt to respond to the opioid crisis. But the Iowa Legislature’s attempt is far too narrow in its scope. The bill misses its intended target in several places, while failing to recognize the realities of Iowa’s current drug crisis. Advocates around the state have supported Good Samaritan provisions for several legislative sessions. This component of the bill allows immunity from arrest when an individual calls 911 in the event of an opioid overdose. (Sarah Ziegenhorn, 5/11)