Evzio: Kaleo Increased Price Of Opioid Overdose Antidote
Pharmaceutical company, Kaleo, has once again increased the price for another product. The life-saving auto-injector Evzio is an antidote that temporarily reverses the effects of an overdose. In 2014, Evzio cost only $690 and now it can be bought for $4,500.
In 2015, it was reported that more than 33,000 deaths were due to an opioid epidemic that had swept the nation. When a person overdoses, time is of the essence. Unlike other naloxone injectors, the Evzio talking auto-injector will guide any person without medical training through the process of administering the injection to save a person from a fatal overdose.
Kaleo believes their new built-in talking technology deserves a premium pricing as it offers something unique to the public especially with the growing drug overdose problem. They believe that this feature alone makes the product worth its price tag according to ABC 2 News.
Forbes reported the unwarranted price increase was not justified based on production costs of the auto-injector and the naloxone. The drugs itself, generic naloxone injectable has increased price in the past years as well. It now costs $150 for a 10cc vial.
The demand for the drug increased, so did Kaleo's Evzio. It is similar to Mylan's controversial price increase for EpiPen. To compete with Mylan's EpiPen, Kaleo developed Auvi-Q and had scheduled its release in February. Auvi-Q's price was also increased to $4,500.
Kaleo did provide a limited supply of free Evzio devices for drug treatment programs as part of their marketing strategy to build brand loyalty. But the Evzio supply had depleted last July and most patients often are unable to afford the device.
To make the product available to consumers, Kaleo offered a discount card to people with insurance to make it free in some cases. But according to analysts, insurance will be forced to increase premiums and consumer will still have to pay.