255: New Naloxone Strategy

Dr. Nabarun Dasgupta, Innovation Fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health, discusses a new way to get more generic Naloxone to people who need it; Colorado works with six counties to respond to...


Dr. Nabarun Dasgupta, Innovation Fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health, discusses a new way to get more generic Naloxone to people who need it; Colorado works with six counties to respond to the challenges of suicide and overdose; Dr. Greg Holzman, former State Medical Officer at the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, helps Wisconsin revive its Public Health Council as part of ASTHO’s Senior Leader Reserve Corps; and ASTHO encourages listeners to subscribe to its Public Health Weekly newsletter.

The Washington Post News Article: It’s about to get easier to access affordable naloxone

Remedy Alliance for the People Webpage

ASTHO Blog Article: How Strong Partnerships Improved Colorado's Suicide And Overdose Prevention Strategy

ASTHO logo

Transcript

ROBERT JOHNSON:

This is Public Health Review Morning Edition for Friday, September 2nd, 2022. I'm Robert Johnson. Now, today's news from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

 

NABARUN DASGUPTA:

Remedy Alliance for the People is a brand new nonprofit. It grew out of what was called the Naloxone Buyer's Club. And this is the organization that for the last decade has, kind of in an informal way, been helping harm reduction programs on the ground purchasing bulk naloxone.

JOHNSON:

Dr. Nabarun Dasgupta is a senior scientist at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health. He's talking about a new way to get more generic naloxone to organizations working to help people suffering from substance use and overdose.

DASGUPTA:

So, what we did was found an exemption, a loophole in existing federal law that allows us to ship naloxone without a prescription in bulk to harm reduction programs and health departments. So, the folks who can use our service—so, we are a nonprofit and we have very low overhead and things, but we will sell naloxone to any harm reduction program and any health department who is directly giving it to people who use drugs.

JOHNSON:

Dasgupta says it's easy to join the Remedy Alliance.

DASGUPTA:

Any health department, whether at the state or local level, can sign up—remedyallianceftp.org is the site, again—and the application process takes about two minutes to complete. And there's a quick approval process that we do every day to make sure that the programs are actually who are signing up, are actually giving naloxone to those who can distribute it. And then, you just place an order online. It's like an e-commerce site. You can pay with invoice, we can do invoices and ACH and whatever credit cards if needed, all that kind of stuff. But we'll just ship you the naloxone.

JOHNSON:

Dasgupta hope lives will be saved with more doses of naloxone on the street.

DASGUPTA:

I think we really want to make naloxone as easy to get for the people who can access those at most risk. So, that's kind of the thing that we can't do from behind our computers, is like be out there on the street, giving people who are at greatest risk naloxone to prevent overdoses.

And so, we're hoping that this will bring in a whole new set of organizations that previously were ineligible because they didn't have a doctor on-staff.

JOHNSON:

There's a link to the Remedy Alliance website in the show notes.

 

Colorado has a new approach to the challenges of suicide and overdose. We hear more about it from O'Keyla Cooper, a new voice on the Morning Edition team.

O'KEYLA COOPER:

Colorado is working with the CDC, national, state, and local partners on a new approach to prevent suicide and overdose deaths statewide. The Colorado National Collaborative has identified six strategies it hopes will lower suicide and overdose rates in the state.

Learn how this approach could become the blueprint for work in your jurisdiction. There's a link to the YouTube video in the show notes.

 

JOHNSON:

Also this morning, ASTHO's Senior Leader Reserve Corps is proving to be a big help to members across the states and territories. The program matches former health officials with agencies looking for help with a project.

Dr. Greg Holzman was a health official in Montana and Michigan. Now, he's helping Wisconsin revive its Public Health Council.

GREG HOLZMAN:

There's no doubt that the last few years have been very challenging for public health folks in general. And I feel like this was an opportunity to, again, reach out to each other and start getting back to our roots of working together to solve problems, to build communities which we believe can be healthy, and fighting for the causes that we as public health professionals feel are pertinent in order to have healthy people, which also leads to a healthy country overall, not only in our physical health, but our mental health and our hopefully economic health, too.

JOHNSON:

Learn more about the Senior Leader Reserve Corps in a new episode of the Public Health Review podcast, available now everywhere you stream audio.

 

Finally today, ASTHO wants to remind you about its Public Health Weekly newsletter, the perfect complement to the Morning Edition newscast. Each installment covers the latest public health news, ASTHO's work with Congress and the White House, policy happenings in the states and territories, and much more. You can sign up using the link in the show notes.

 

While you're signing up for the newsletter, make sure to follow us by choosing the follow button on your favorite podcast app.

 

That'll do it for today's newscast. We're off on Labor Day, but back Tuesday morning with more ASTHO news and information.

I'm Robert Johnson. You're listening to Public Health Review Morning Edition. Have a great holiday weekend.

Nabarun Dasgupta PhD MPH

Innovation Fellow, UNC-CH Gillings School of Global Public Health

Greg Holzman MD MPH

Former State Medical Officer, Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services