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Awaiting over-the-counter sales, some Connecticut health districts just give Naloxone away

A 24-7 Naloxone Box, one of many springing up across southeastern Connecticut.
Brian Scott-Smith
A 24-7 Naloxone Box, one of many springing up across southeastern Connecticut.

Over-the-counter sales of the opioid reversal drug Naloxone could start as soon as this summer if the FDA can agree on availability and price with the drug manufacturers.

Meanwhile, local health districts in southeastern Connecticut are working with EMS providers to distribute Naloxone for free due to increased opioid overdoses in the region.

Jen Muggeo, the deputy director of Ledge Light Health District, calls it a “leave behind program.”

“This is where the ambulance crews have Naloxone kits as well as information available to leave behind with patients who have survived an opioid overdose and are either not being transferred to the hospital or to leave behind with their family and friends on the scene for future use,” Muggeo said.

To find a free Naloxone kit in southeastern Connecticut visit nlccares.com or contact a local health department.

She said although the FDA decision is welcomed, price and insurance coverage of the drug is vital. The cost of a single Naloxone kit can vary in price from $20 to $60.

“For multiple interventions that will make it easier for people to get the kits from stores,” Muggeo said. ”One is efforts to put some sort of price cap on the medication. The other is that although the medication is going over the counter, we hope that insurance companies and Medicaid will continue to cover it for their beneficiaries.”

An award-winning freelance reporter/host for WSHU, Brian lives in southeastern Connecticut and covers stories for WSHU across the Eastern side of the state.