Leonard Campanello, Co-Founder
John Rosenthal, Co-founder & Chairman
One Bridge St., Suite #300
Newton, MA 02458
For Immediate Release
Monday, Aug. 31, 2015
Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Statement of PAARI Founders John Rosenthal and Gloucester Police Chief Leonard Campanello Supporting Attorney General Maura Healey’s Narcan Announcement
Price Gouging of Lifesaving Drug Exists Nationwide – Other States Should Follow Suit
GLOUCESTER — Police Chief Leonard Campanello and John Rosenthal, co-founders of the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) are extraordinarily pleased with the actions taken by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and her office to make lifesaving Nasal Naloxone (Narcan) more available and less expensive to first responders and to the families and caregivers of those stricken with the disease of opioid addiction.
In a settlement that is the first of its kind in the nation, Attorney General Healey’s Office today announced a $325,000 agreement with Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc., regarding the company’s sharp increase in the price of Nasal Naloxone, a drug that can reverse the potentially fatal effects of a heroin/opioid overdose.
“In launching the Gloucester Police ANGEL Initiative earlier this year, the availability and unfair pricing of Naloxone was one of the first and most pressing challenges we faced,” Chief Campanello said. “The Gloucester Police Department is proud to stand with Attorney General Healey today on this issue. The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (PAARI), a nationwide support system for law enforcement officials concerned about the disease of addiction, also lends its voice in support of Attorney General Healey’s achievement. She is a tremendous partner to law enforcement.”
Added John Rosenthal: “Attorney General Healey’s continuous and tireless efforts to ensure Naloxone is available and affordable for not only public safety officials, but for every person who needs this life saving drug, is admirable, and pharmaceutical companies must be made to understand that they do not have the right to unfairly capitalize on human suffering.”
Gloucester Police Lt. David Quinn joined AG Healey on stage during a press conference Monday afternoon announcing the agreement.
Attorney General Healey noted a sharp increase in the price that municipalities, police departments and fire departments have been paying for Narcan, from less than $15 last year to more than $30. Chief Campanello notes that, in his travels and conversations with police chiefs around the country, he has regularly encountered police departments that are paying up to $220 per dose.
“Attorney General Healey’s actions will save lives in Massachusetts, and her work should be a national call to action to police departments and attorneys general across the U.S.,” Chief Campanello said. “Pharmaceutical companies should be on notice that profiting from or enabling the national opioid epidemic will draw a strong response from law enforcement. Death and incarceration is no longer be the standard of care for addiction.”
The Gloucester Police ANGEL Initiative allows people who suffer from addiction to turn over their remaining drug supply and paraphernalia to the Gloucester Police Department without the threat of arrest. Those in need of help are put into treatment programs as opposed to jail cells. The policy went into effect last month in an effort to address a growing opioid addiction epidemic and to reduce the number of overdoses in Massachusetts. To date The Gloucester Police Angel Program has placed 138 people into treatment and over a dozen local police departments and 40 treatment centers in 17 states have joined the partnered with the initiative, Click here to view the official police policy document.
P.A.A.R.I. was started to support local police departments as they work with opioid addicts. Rather than arrest our way out of the problem of drug addiction, P.A.A.R.I. committed police departments:
- Encourage opioid drug users to seek recovery
- Help distribute life saving opioid blocking drugs to prevent and treat overdoses
- Connect people suffering with opioid addiction with treatment programs and facilities
- Provide resources to other police departments and communities that want to do more to fight the opioid addiction epidemic
P.A.A.R.I. was created by Gloucester Police Chief Leonard Campanello and John Rosenthal to bridge the gap between the police department and opioid addicts seeking recovery. Since its founding, police departments in more than six states have joined as partners with the initiative.