Purdue gives $3.4M to nonprofit developing cheaper opioid overdose antidote

Purdue Pharma will donate $3.4 million to the nonprofit drug company Harm Reduction Therapeutics to develop a cheaper opioid overdose antidote.

Purdue's donation will accelerate the creation of a generic naloxone spray by about a year. Harm Reduction Therapeutics hopes to launch the drug within the next two years. Purdue will not receive any revenue or royalties from the drug.

Michael Hufford, CEO of Harm Reduction Therapeutics, told Bloomberg the product will cost "a fraction" of the $125 price for a two-pack of Narcan.

"As the opioid epidemic has unfolded, the price of naloxone, despite it being a generic drug, has continued to go up," Mr. Hufford said. "There has to be another way."

Harm Reduction Therapeutics is petitioning U.S. regulators to have the drug sold over-the-counter at pharmacies. At present, about 45 states allow pharmacies to dispense the drug without a prescription.

More articles on opioids: 

Cities pushing for safe injection sites face federal pushback

4 things to know about the Senate opioid bill

Drug companies race to make opioid alternatives: 4 things to know

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