For Immediate Release:
Contact: Lauren Blair
In case you missed it, CBS News’ 60 Minutes aired a report just before Thanksgiving on Evzio, a life-saving naloxone drug used to reverse opioid overdoses. As correspondent Lesley Stahl reported, a two-pack of Evzio once cost $575. But in the midst of our country’s opioid crisis, what did Kaleo, the drug’s manufacturer, do?
You guessed it. It jacked up the price.
Today, Evzio costs a whopping $4,000 – an increase of over 550 percent. What’s worse, the drug can cost as little as a nickel to make.
Clearly, Kaleo follows the same playbook as other Big Pharma companies that raise their prices of life-saving drugs with no rhyme or reason. Remember “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli? He raised the price of Daraprim, a drug used by AIDS patients, from $13.50 to $750 for just ONE pill. With a $4,000 price tag, Kaleo has made Evzio completely unaffordable for the people who need it the most, including first responders who administer the medication to save lives.
Here’s how two former Kaleo employees responded to the price hike:
“I began my job search the day after they announced the price hike, because it was greedy and a little unethical, in my opinion.”
“I felt slimy. I no longer felt like I’m helping people. Now I feel like I’m taking advantage of people.”
The 60 Minutes piece also mentioned an investigative report by Senators Rob Portman and Tom Carper which goes further into detail about Kaleo’s price-gouging tactics. As Senator Portman said in a statement:
“The fact that one company dramatically raised the price of its naloxone drug and cost taxpayers’ tens of millions of dollars in increased drug costs, all during a national opioid crisis no less, is simply outrageous.”
Drug companies have gotten away with price gouging patients for far too long. Now more than ever, we need bipartisan action from the administration and Congress. CSRxP will continue to work with policymakers on market-based solutions that boost competition, increase transparency and bring value to taxpayers. To watch the full 60 Minutes report, click here.
About the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing
The Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing (CSRxP) is a broad-based coalition of leaders – physicians, nurses, hospitals, consumers, health plans, PBMs, pharmacists, and businesses – promoting bipartisan, market-based solutions to lower drug prices in America.