Police get $50k for anti-overdose drug
The Philadelphia Police Department has received $50,000 to increase its supply of the anti-overdose drug naloxone.
The donation — made possible by Independence Blue Cross and the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association — is a lifesaver for the city's large addicted population.
Philly has by and far the highest drug overdose rate in Pennsylvania: nearly 42 people per 100,000. In 2014, there were 650 overdose deaths. For context, in 2013, about 2,400 residents died from drug overdoses across the state.
It was just two years ago that the Pennsylvania commonwealth approved police officers across the state to carry naloxone to combat opioid-related drug overdoses.
The Philadelphia Police Department started equipping officers with naloxone in February 2015. One year later, they had saved 121 people from overdosing, police told the Daily News last month.
"This is a great piece of equipment that allows our officers to save lives in a way that we couldn’t before concerning heroin overdoses," Police Commissioner Richard Ross said. "I’m particularly proud at how our officers have adopted this process."
Prices for the anti-overdose drug have soared as the country's opioid death rate has skyrocketed.
Prevention Point, a multiservice clinic based in Kensington, paid $80,000 last year for its supply from a wholesaler. For individuals looking to purchase the anti-overdose drug from a local pharmacy — either in nasal spray or injection form — one dose can cost well over $50.