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First shipment of Naloxone doses delivered to Kentucky following Teva Pharmaceuticals settlement

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An initial shipment of 8,000 doses of Naloxone came to Kentucky last week as part of a settlement with Teva Pharmaceuticals.

Naloxone is a nasal spray medicine meant to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. It’s sold over-the-counter as Narcan.

Chris Evans is the executive director of the Kentucky Opioid Abatement Advisory Commission, which helps manage the settlement funds going to Kentucky. He says giving communities access to Naloxone is a “life-saving measure.”

“The important thing to remember is that anytime somebody is going to actually use any one dosage of this, they are looking at a life threatening situation,” Evans said. “They're in the throes and working towards trying to make sure that somebody is going to come out alive.”

Teva agreed to ship 23,000 units of Naloxone to the Commonwealth each year, resolving a 2018 lawsuit alleging the company’s marketing furthered the state’s opioid crisis. Last week’s shipment was the first after the lawsuit was settled last year.

Evans says the shipment is important for statewide access to the medicine. It will be available for free at local health departments, recovery community centers and regional prevention centers.

“What's important for this shipment is again, trying to make sure that we're continuing to have availability for everyone in the Commonwealth,” Evans said. “We want to make sure that if anybody needs it, they have the ability to get it.”

A map of where free naloxone is available can be found online.

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Shepherd joined WEKU in June 2023 as a staff reporter. He most recently worked for West Virginia Public Broadcasting as General Assignment Reporter. In that role, he collected interviews and captured photos in the northern region of West Virginia. Shepherd holds a master’s degree in Digital Marketing Communication and a bachelor’s in music from West Virginia University.
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