News Headlines Article

For Drugs That Save Lives, a Steep Cost
New York Times

This month, amid great fanfare, the Food and Drug Administration approved a portable pocket-size device that injects a drug called naloxone to rescue people who become unconscious from overdoses of heroin and other opiates. Wider dissemination of this antidote, long used in emergency rooms and by some first responders, will certainly save lives.

The new device, called Evzio — which will be available to anyone by prescription — can be kept in the homes of those with drug problems or who take prescribed opiates, in schools, in police cars, in clubs. The F.D.A. fast-tracked approval of it because, according to Dr. Margaret Hamburg, the agency director, “People are dying” from opiate overdoses. She noted that drug overdoses had surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of death from injury in the United States, killing 16,000 people a year.