Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) has received a donation of 4,000 naloxone auto-injectors from kaléo Pharma. The donation was made available through the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services to first-responders across the state in an effort to reduce the number of overdoses from opioid abuse. It also included 2,000 voice-activated training devices.
“The opioid epidemic in Louisiana is a serious problem that deserves our attention, and this donation from kaléo is going to help us in our fight to prevent more deaths from this terrible addiction,” said Gov. Edwards. “This issue has been a priority for my administration, and we have worked alongside state lawmakers who also understand the importance of implementing policies that will help save lives. This is not the first time kaléo has made a donation of this magnitude and we are grateful the company is as committed to solving this crisis as we are.”
Naloxone is an easy-to-use, fast-acting medicine that reverses an opioid overdose. The injectors are pocket-sized and the voice-activated training devices will quickly teach first-responders how to use them. This is the second large donation made by kaléo. The company donated more than 8,000 naloxone auto injectors in 2015.
“Kaléo is honored to work with Gov. Edwards to make this donation of 4,000 EVZIO naloxone auto-injectors to the State of Louisiana,” said Spencer Williamson, President and CEO of kaléo. “Kaléo is proud to support the outstanding efforts of the first responder community to help save the lives of those who are experiencing an opioid overdose.”
Since 2012, opioid-related deaths and overdoses in Louisiana have steadily climbed from 155 deaths in 2012 to 305 last year. LDH will ensure that the injectors are made available to police, firefighters and EMS agencies throughout the state.
“With opioid-related overdoses and deaths at an epidemic level in Louisiana, this donation is critical to helping local first responders have the right antidote at their fingertips when every second counts in saving a life,” said Dr. Rebekah Gee, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health.
During the 2017 Regular Legislative Session, Gov. Edwards supported and signed into law several bills aimed at fighting the state’s opioid epidemic in both the short-term and long-term: