California to Purchase CalRx Branded Over-the-Counter Naloxone for $24

SACRAMENTO – California’s Naloxone Distribution Project (NDP) delivers millions of naloxone kits, saving hundreds of thousands of lives. To significantly bolster this effort, Governor Newsom today announced CalRx’s Naloxone Access Initiative’s new partner – Amneal Pharmaceuticals, which has secured U.S. FDA approval of an over-the-counter (OTC) naloxone nasal spray product. This new partnership allows the state to purchase CalRx-branded OTC naloxone for $24 – almost half of the current market price.

To increase affordability and accessibility for Californians, Amneal will be providing CalRx® pricing that represents a 40% reduction compared to current prices for a twin-pack of OTC naloxone nasal spray; down to $24 per pack for the NDP. At this lower price, and with the same resources spent under the NDP, California can buy 3.2 million twin-packs of naloxone instead of the 2 million twin-packs purchased at the previous price.

“California is disrupting the drug industry with CalRx — securing life-saving drugs at lower and transparent prices. As we continue the effort to bring $30 insulin to the market, the state is now set to purchase life-saving naloxone for almost half of the current market price — maximizing taxpayer dollars and saving more lives with this miracle drug.”

Governor Gavin Newsom

WHY THIS MATTERS: People should not go into debt to receive lifesaving medication. California’s CalRx® Program is making medications more affordable for all Californians — including naloxone. NDP has distributed more than 4.1 million naloxone kits, resulting in more than 260,000 reported opioid overdose reversals. The CalRx® Naloxone Access Initiative will build on those efforts by making OTC naloxone nasal spray more accessible and affordable, especially for low-income, uninsured, or underinsured individuals.

BIGGER PICTURE: Governor Newsom released the Master Plan for Tackling the Fentanyl and Opioid Crisis to support overdose prevention efforts like those announced today. Recently, Governor Newsom launched Opioids.CA.GOV, a one-stop-shop for Californians seeking resources around prevention and treatment, as well as information on how California is working to hold Big Pharma and drug-traffickers accountable in this crisis.

This announcement follows the Office of Health Care Affordability’s Board approval of a statewide health care spending target of 3% to be phased in over the next few years, a critical step in Governor Newsom’s ongoing efforts to make health care affordable and accessible for everyone.

The CalRx® Biosimilar Insulin Initiative continues to move forward to bring this lifesaving and life-sustaining drug to market as soon as possible. Following recent meetings with the US FDA, CalRx’s partner Civica has a clear path forward. California is using its market power as the 5th largest economy in the world to disrupt a billion-dollar industry to save lives and make health care and medication more affordable. More information about CalRx® can be found here.