Price increases for life-saving drug

(AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – Horry County Fire Rescue is using one particular drug more than ever.  It’s called Naloxone or Narcan and it immediately reverses an opioid overdose.

HCFR Captain Darin Helkowski says the drug isn’t anything new. They’re required to carry Narcan on every front line ambulance.

“If someone were to overdose on a drug like Morphine or a street drug like Heroin, we can give that to reverse the side effects of respiratory depression,” he explained.

In 2015, Horry County Fire Rescue paramedics used the drug about 600 times.

Helkowski says they’ll often administer the drug when responding to a cardiac arrest as a precaution.

“If you give it to somebody and they’re not overdosing, it’s not going to hurt them,” he said.

According to Helkowski,  the price of Narcan has quadrupled in the last five years. Right now it costs $75 per dose.

The department buys drugs with money from the general fund, which means your tax dollars could be making up the difference.

“We’re in the business of saving lives, so that’s what we do. if someone calls us, we’re going to go and do it,” said Helkowski.

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