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04/23/2024 01:20 PM
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: June 23, 2023 10:06 AM
From: Representative Stephen Kinsey
To: All House members
Subject: Naloxone for First Responders: Ensuring Access to all FDA-Approved Overdose Reversal Medications
In 2017, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency launched the Naloxone for First Responders Program (NFRP) in recognition of the need for increasing the accessibility and availability of naloxone for individuals at the greatest risk of opioid overdose. This joint venture with the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs provides and distributes free Narcan kits to organizations and individuals who may encounter someone experiencing an overdose (“first responders”). Between June 2022 and June 2023, PCCD purchased over 327,100 kits of 4mg Narcan nasal spray through the NFRP.

While Narcan remains a critical tool in preventing fatal overdoses, the FDA has approved other higher-dose and generic brand alternatives since the NFRP’s launch. These alternatives are not only cheaper and more cost-effective but are all included in the Department of Health’s Standing Order for commercial users. Yet, the Naloxone for First Responders Program limits our first responders to only one brand-name formulation.

Our Commonwealth’s fight in this opioid crisis necessitates all resources be made available. Some naloxone formulations may not be suited for certain populations, but we need to ensure that our first responders have options available to them to best serve the people they are trying to help. Therefore, I plan to introduce legislation requiring access to all FDA-approved formulations under the Naloxone for First Responders Program.

This legislation is simply about ensuring we’re using all available tools as we continue to combat the opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania.