Louisville EMS sees increase in demand and prices for heroin ove - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville EMS sees increase in demand and prices for heroin overdose drug

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Demand is skyrocketing for a drug that counteracts heroin, and Louisville EMS says prices have also gone up in recent years.

The city uses Naloxone, a generic version of Narcan, on overdosing patients.       

“Naloxone administrations have really skyrocketed,"  said Mitchell Burmeister a spokesperson with Louisville Emergency Services. "When you look at those same years, we’re looking probably around an 85, 86 percent increase."

A potent form of heroin laced with fentanyl has meant more Naloxone is needed.

Louisville EMS is seeing a 9 percent increase overall in overdose runs over last year. The price EMS pays per dose of Naloxone has also gone up.

“If you look at 2013, we were paying for EMS about $18 a dose," Burmeister said. "Now today, we’re looking at upwards of $33 to $34 a dose."

EMS bills patients and insurance companies, but not everyone pays, so the city ends up covering some of the cost.

Burmeister hopes a renewed focus on addiction treatment programs and going after dealers will help reduce the need for Naloxone.

“Hopefully that will drive down usage in our community, which then makes it easier for our EMTs and paramedics,” he said.

Louisville EMS says the department has spent about $20,000 more this year when compared to the same time last year. 

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