What We Know About the New Covid Variant, Omicron
By Dr. Brian Kilmeade, OPINION WRITER
We have officially experienced a milestone in the war on opioids. After a series of highly anticipated trials and failures, we now have a treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD) which has the potential to heal the brain and be very successful on its own for those suffering with severe pain.
The chemical for the new formulation is called Narcan, or naloxone, a safe and inexpensive antidote to heroin and other opioid-addicted people. Now you can walk into any pharmacy and buy Narcan, and if you are ever afraid of overdosing, then the pharmacy wants you to buy the Narcan. And no, it’s not a chemical to treat cancer.
Now a new clinical trial has shown that for 2 years, Narcan has been effective for chronic pain patients who have not taken opioids for 20 years. Under no circumstance should anybody self-administer Narcan or a similar drug to take an overdose. But this new drug is an antidote to heroin and narcotics and has the potential to save thousands of lives.
This breakthrough is helping me with my own treatment with OPD, an alternative pain treatment alternative that helps me and many of you relieve chronic pain from arthritis. And most importantly it is a safe alternative to opioids.
The cost of the Narcan should be just one year of health insurance. A two-year prescription for Narcan costs $60, a four-year prescription for Narcan costs $96, and a five-year prescription for Narcan costs $169. This is exactly why the drug companies should aggressively market this new medication at a discount to the price of Narcan which will allow you to purchase two years of Narcan, or a lifetime of Narcan at just $19.99.
This is a breakthrough for just one reason – opioid use disorder is devastating. This addiction is killing, and there is no treatment. The CDC puts the current total annual cost at $504 billion. And opioids are the number one cause of deaths, for both men and women, of all causes, including automobile accidents, gun violence, suicide, and drowning.
Opioids made up 56 percent of all drugs prescribed in the United States. Sadly, there is no cure for opioid addiction, there is simply a heroin addict who had never abused alcohol or any other drugs.
So again, I beg the drug companies to use this as a massive and aggressive marketing strategy to make Narcan available to so many at a very affordable price and to prevent more tragedies and deaths.
As if Narcan was not enough, we also have an exciting development for opioid abuse. There is an evidence-based treatment for opioids and addiction. A 16-week treatment and no street drugs, and all the time. It is called opioid substitution therapy (OST), and it is actually one of the most important non-opioid treatments available and saves lives.
But OST is only available at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City with one hundred eighty patients on this new drug, The Novartis Pharma Group who funds the Strela Gel. Now they may be releasing this drug at a very reasonable price, and I ask again that the drug companies look out for patients and not their profit margins.
We are now only 2 years away from the Surgeon General’s Advisory Committee report stating that every person with opioid use disorder should have access to OST or other medication-assisted therapy.
We have less than two years to save thousands of lives, one person’s life at a time, and I say to the drug companies, stop this nonsense. Tell the Federal Government and the Surgeon General that they should make Narcan readily available for almost anyone.
I really need your help. If you can, please let me know what you think about Narcan, or the newly approved Omicron medication. Please help save hundreds and thousands of lives.
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