PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — With the price of the life-saving drug Naloxone skyrocketing, a private foundation has stepped in to help Philadelphia police keep a ready supply for its officers, and the drug is in high demand already this year.
Philadelphia Police began carrying Naloxone in 2015 to reverse the effects of heroin overdoses. That year, they saved 130 people with Naloxone.
The next year, Lieutenant Karen Baldini says, 911 calls for overdoses plunged; she believes, because drug users learned Naloxone also reverses the high. Now, the calls are back up and on track to set a record.
Baldini says there have already been 80 Naloxone saves this year.
“We’re seeing an influx in the city of heroin laced with Fentanyl and Carfentanyl which are very, very dangerous and very, very deadly and it’s very difficult to rouse someone from an overdose without the assistance of Naloxone,” said Baldini.
While overdose deaths have been rising, there were 907 last year, so has the cost of Naloxone. It’s now $125 a dose.
Enter the Tuttleman foundation, which gave police a $50,000 grant so more officers can carry it.