Op­pos­ing view: Af­ford­able ac­cess is our com­pany’s pri­or­ity

USA TODAY US Edition - - NEWS - Spencer Wil­liamson

Af­ter watch­ing pa­tients in need strug­gle to get ac­cess to nalox­one, we made a com­mit­ment, start­ing in 2016, to make EVZIO® avail­able for $0 out of pocket for all pa­tients with com­mer­cial in­sur­ance and a pre­scrip­tion, as well as for unin­sured pa­tients who have a house­hold in­come of less than $100,000. For those who pay cash, the price is $180 per auto-in­jec­tor, which comes in a box of two for $360.

To be clear, no pa­tient has to pay thou­sands of dol­lars out of pocket for EVZIO. Be­cause of our com­mit­ment, no nalox­one prod­uct, branded or even generic, is less ex­pen­sive out-of-pocket for pa­tients than EVZIO.

While there are mul­ti­ple forms of nalox­one in­tended for bulk pur­chase by gov­ern­ment agencies and non-prof­its, EVZIO is a nalox­one auto-in­jec­tor in­tended for pre­scrip­tion by a health care prac­ti­tioner to a pa­tient or fam­ily mem­ber. It is the first and only in­tel­li­gent nalox­one auto-in­jec­tor with voice and vis­ual guid­ance and was de­signed and FDA-ap­proved for the emergency treat- ment of opi­oid over­dose for use by in­di­vid­u­als with­out med­i­cal train­ing. EVZIO is not a sub­sti­tute for emergency med­i­cal care.

While EVZIO is in­tended for pre­scrip­tion, we rec­og­nize that the scope of this cri­sis de­mands mul­ti­ple ways to get nalox­one into the com­mu­nity for those in need. To that end, kaléo has do­nated more than 325,000 EVZIO auto-in­jec­tors to pub­lic health de­part­ments, first re­spon­ders and qual­i­fy­ing non-prof­its.

Kaléo has re­ceived vol­un­tary re­ports from grantees that do­nated EVZIO has helped save the lives of more than 5,400 peo­ple. That is nearly 30 lives re­ported saved per week since the pro­gram started in 2014.

At kaléo, our pri­or­ity is en­sur­ing that pa­tients with a pre­scrip­tion who need ac­cess to take-home nalox­one can get it and af­ford it. We will con­tinue to work with all stake­hold­ers, gov­ern­ment and pri­vate, to help in­crease ac­cess to this po­ten­tially life­sav­ing med­i­ca­tion.

Spencer Wil­liamson is pres­i­dent and CEO of kaléo.

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