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

What You Need to Know

California, disrupting the drug industry through CalRx®, is now set to purchase twin-packs of life-saving naloxone nasal spray for almost half of the current market price. Qualifying organizations in the state, including first responders, universities, and community organizations, can access the state’s naloxone supply for free.

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.

What Governor Newsom Said

“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.”

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.

Learn more about today’s announcement here.