Price increase for heroin overdose antidote worries advocates - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Price increase for heroin overdose antidote worries advocates

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WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WREX) -

The increasing costs of the heroin overdose drug, Narcan, has advocates worried about saving people in need.

"The longer they go without oxygen, the greater the chance of a permanent disability or not being able to bring them back at all," said Tammy Wardemann, co-founder of Hope Over Addiction.

Hope Over Addiction is a local advocacy group that is teaching people how to use Naloxone, a generic brand of Narcan.

It's a drug that reverses heroin's effects on brain receptors.

The group receives the drug from the Chicago Recovery Alliance.

Members hand out free doses of Naloxone locally, but that might not be the case anymore.

"It's hard enough to even get the word out about Naloxone, now our sources are threatening to take away our supply. So even if we get the information out there, we are going to run into the trouble of getting the Naloxone," Wardemann said.

The drug used to cost around $3 a bottle. Now, it can sell for more than $15 a bottle.

The Winnebago County Sheriff's Office also supplies its deputies with Narcan.

They say no matter how expensive the drug gets, they need the supply.

"It's like gasoline, we have to put gasoline in our squad cars," said Chief Kurt Ditzler of the Winnebago County Sheriff's Department. "Costs are associated with doing the cost of business."

The sheriff's office knows where it's going to get its next supply, but advocates like Hope Over Addiction say they're not sure when they'll receive their next shipment to give out to the public.

"If we can't get this in their [the public] hands, more people will die, there's no question," Wardemann said.

Naloxone providers say costs to make the drug are increasing. That's forcing the price to increase.

Hope Over Addiction says it will turn to local legislators to ask for grant money if needed.

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