Getting naloxone into the hands of those who need it

The makers of the most popular form of naloxone are trying to get the drug into the hands of those who need it. (WSYX/WTTE)

It's the drug that saves lives after an overdose.

The makers of the most popular form of naloxone are trying to get the drug into the hands of those who need it.

Thom Duddy is the Vice President of Corporate Communications for Adapt-Pharma, makers of Narcan, one of the companies that makes naloxone.

He says hospitals first started using naloxone back in 1971, and it was used to reverse the effects of anesthesia.

"You would get fentanyl to go under anesthesia and then it's reversed with naloxone to wake you up, " he said.

Now the medication is being used to block the effects of opioids and helps revive after an overdose.

In Ohio, pharmacies can dispense naloxone without a prescription.

"We're seeing record numbers of naloxone being dispense, not just Narcan being dispense, but last week the highest number of all time, about 12-thousand prescriptions of naloxone, " Duddy said.

Just last week - Governor Kasich announced he wants doctors to take a look as prescribing naloxone with high doses of opioid prescriptions.

Adapt-Pharma won't disclose how much it cost to manufacture the drug, but says it's sold to the public for about $37.50.

Duddy says most insurance companies will help patients get the drug for as little as $5 or $10 dollars.

The company is also offering Narcan to schools and universities for free.

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