Debate over who should pay for opioid antidote continues in Augusta

AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — People saved more than once by the opioid overdose drug Naloxone may soon have to pay for it. 

There will be a public hearing Monday on a bill sponsored by Governor Paul LePage (R) that would charge people who are revived more than once by opioid blockers like Naloxone for the effort and expense of the treatment. 

LePage says it is an effort to discourage drug use, but opponents say this bill is not the answer.

The price of Naloxone has gone up significantly in recent years, costing up to $50 dollars a dose. Compounded with the rise in opioid overdoses in Maine, the cost of Naloxone can be a financial burden on municipalities.

Those opposing LePage's bill say it would actually cost more money to charge overdose patients for the overdose antidote. Some first responders say tracking down overdose patients and charging them would require overtime on their part.

The public hearing on the bill is at 10:00 a.m. on Monday. 

This story will be updated. 

 

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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