The head of a pharmaceutical company with ties to the Clinton Foundation has skyrocketed the price of an injector device used to treat opioid overdoses.
Spencer Williamson, the president and CEO of Kaleo Pharmaceuticals, has hiked the cost of a two-pack of Evzio, a device used for life-threatening opioid overdoses, by nearly 680 percent over a span of three years, according to The Washington Free Beacon.
Reportedly, the cost of the device rose from $690 in 2014 to $4,500 in 2017, which raised questions among several Democratic senators who are now demanding to know why the drastic price increase.
A letter sent to Williamson from the senators stated:
“We are deeply concerned about reports that Kaleo dramatically increased the cost of its naloxone injector device, Evzio, an FDA-approved medication used for the emergency treatment of an opioid overdose – from $690 for a two-pack in 2014 to $4,500 today.” They continued, “This drug is now in the hands of first responders and families struggling with substance use disorder across the country. It is particularly needed in rural areas where access to life-saving emergency services can be limited. Such a steep rise in the cost of this drug threatens to price-out families and communities that depend on naloxone to save lives.”
According to the report, the senators are also requesting that Williamson provides a detailed pricing structure of Evzio, along with documentation on why the company decided to change its pricing structure, in the first place.
Among the many demands, lawmakers are also requesting to know how much Evzio has received in reimbursements over the last 12 months.
It has also been reported that Williamson announcement a partnership alongside Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation in January 2015 at an annual Health Matters Activation Summit, in what they claimed was an effort to make the drug more affordable.
A press release from The Clinton Foundation announcing their partnership read:
“Spencer Williamson, CEO of Kaleo, announced an agreement with the Kaleo pharmaceutical company to make EVZIO® (naloxone HCl injection) Auto-injector, an emergency treatment for opioid overdose, available at a bulk discount to colleges and universities, public safety organizations and community organizers. This agreement is a part of CHMI’s efforts to ensure that there is a predictable and affordable supply of Naloxone, a life-saving opioid suppressant that can reverse opioid caused overdoses.”
Kaleo’s Spokeswoman, Mary Coyle, told The Washington Free Beacon: “We received the letter from the senators and are in communication with them to ensure all questions are addressed.” She added, “Our first priority remains ensuring that patients can access EVZIO. In fact, with the launch of Kaleo’s enhanced patient access program, more Americans are able to obtain this life-saving product for $0 out-of-pocket than any time in history.”
Coyle concluded her statement: “Through quick administration of EVZIO by caregivers, we can help save lives while saving significant costs to the healthcare system by avoiding long-term in-patient care. No naloxone product, branded or even generic, is less expensive for commercially insured patients, or patients without insurance and incomes below $100,000 a year, than EVZIO.”
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