Senator David Carlucci & Advocates Call for Legislation to Address Price Gouging
New City, NY — Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) released an alarming report on the price gouging of the life saving drug Naloxone by pharmaceutical companies, “The Price of Saving a Life: How Price Gouging of Naloxone has put New Yorkers at Risk,” at an event with the Rockland Council on Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependence and local emergency medical service providers.
“As we continue to see the number of opioid overdoses rise in New York the use of Naloxone has been an essential tool to save lives. While these overdoses have been a tragedy for the families, they have been a boon for pharmaceutical companies and their CEOs who have drastically increased the prices of these life saving drugs. We must ensure that these drugs are available and affordable and I look forward to working next year during session to pass legislation that will do just that,” said Senator Carlucci.
This most recent report is the latest work by Senator Carlucci in combating the heroin crisis in New York.
The report found that sales of Naloxone have quadrupled recently, from $21.3 million in 2011 to $81.9 million in 2015. During this time period, the largest of of the five main manufacturers, Amphastar, raised the cost from $12 per dose to $41. Their CEO, Jason Shandell, blamed the cost rise on increased manufacturing costs, however he saw a salary increase of more than $1 million from 2014 to 2015.
It also found other companies like Pfizer increased the price of their Naloxone product by 1717%, while another manufacturer, Kaleo, increased theirs by 652%.
To combat this price gouging, Senator Carlucci introduced legislation that will allow the Attorney General to bring a civil action against a manufacturer if it is believed that there is price gouging occurring. The bill would allow a court to impose a civil fine of up to $1 million and order restitution to affected consumers.
Senator Carlucci has been at the forefront of fighting this crisis, serving as co-chair of a bi-partisan task force in 2014 that took aim at the issue. Since then he has hosted Naloxone trainings and town hall meetings with residents of the Hudson Valley which have seen more than 400 people trained in the use of Naloxone.