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MONDAY: Cummings to Speak at Press Conference on Efforts to Combat Heroin Epidemic in Maryland

Jul 10, 2015
Press Release

MEDIA ADVISORY

 

MONDAY:  Cummings to Speak at Press Conference on Efforts to Combat Heroin Epidemic in Maryland

 

Baltimore, MD—On Monday, July 13, 2015, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, will join Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and the Baltimore City Heroin Treatment and Prevention Task Force at a press conference to discuss the urgent need to combat the heroin epidemic and the rising costs of naloxone, a critical drug used by first responders to treat heroin overdoses.

“The rising epidemic of heroin overdoses is extremely troubling, which is why we must ensure that no state is being overcharged for naloxone,” Cummings said. “This drug is a vitally important tool that first responders, law enforcement, and public health officials use to save lives.”

Last week, Cummings sent a letter to the Maryland Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General urging them to take aggressive action to negotiate an agreement with Amphastar, the company that has been charging exorbitant prices for naloxone.

According to press reports, “police and public health officials from New York to San Francisco are facing sticker shock:  Prices for a popular form of the medication, naloxone, are spiking, in some cases by 50 percent or more.” 

In Maryland, the price of naloxone reportedly increased by a staggering 111% in eight months, rising from $19 per dose to $41 per dose.

In January, after months of negotiation, the Attorney General of New York announced an agreement with Amphastar to provide rebates of $6 per dose of naloxone paid for directly, or reimbursed by, public agencies within the state.  The agreement also requires Amphastar to increase these rebates to match—dollar-for-dollar—any future price increases.  In March, the Attorney General of Ohio announced a similar agreement with the company.

Cummings has been investigating recent price increases for naloxone, as well as other drugs used to treat everything from common medical conditions to life-threatening illnesses, and to identify measures to help reduce costs for patients, healthcare providers, and hospitals across the country.

 

WHAT:         Cummings speaks at Mayor’s press conference on combating heroin overdoses

WHEN:         Monday, July 13, 2015 at 1:00 PM

WHERE:       2600 block of N. Fulton Avenue, corner of Francis Street

114th Congress