A new statewide policy is prompting ACR Health to prioritize who will have Naloxone kits — putting it in the hands of people who are most likely to encounter a drug overdose.

The new program is called N-CAP, also known as the Naloxone Co-payment Assistance Program.

Citing the importance of overdose awareness, especially for people under 50, ACR Health leaders say drug overdoses are killing more people than AIDS did at the height of the epidemic. 

ACR Health leaders say the policy shift should eliminate the amount of kits that may expire before being used. A general Naloxone kit costs about $70, according to Kevin Donovan, the overdose prevention coordinator.

Through N-CAP — the state will pay up to $40 in co-pay fees when a person buys Naloxone at their pharmacy using their insurance.

“If the person is uninsured and they have a hard time getting it through the pharmacy…if they have a high-deductible insurance plan where they have to pay out-of-pocket cost for the medicine, we’re going to provide them the kit anyway,” Donovan said. “The bottom line is we’re still going to provide kits two people that need them who can’t access them.”

ACR Health will continue to train members of the public on how to administer Naloxone which can be given as a nasal spray or as an injection. 

ACR Health exclusively uses a nasal spray for of the name brand Narcan. Each trained individual will be given a card detailing how to obtain Naloxone at a pharmacy.

Prevention team members say more than 2,000 pharmacies will participate in N-CAP statewide. Pharmacies in compliance include Wegmans, CVS, Rite Aid, and Kinney Drug. 

ACR Health leaders say the access to the life-saving drug will increase because Pharmacy hours are longer than the organizations operating hours. 

Fully stocked Naloxone kits will be supplied for individuals who are at risk for overdose or their family members or friends who receive training through ACR Health.

At-risk individuals may also obtain Naloxone at pharmacies without prescription.

ACR Health also recommends companies and businesses that serve the public to have trained individuals and then have a few strategically placed Naloxone kits in their building.

“Having it on hand knowing how to use it,” explained Justin Snell, a prevention health advocate. “Just having access, having health insurance will get us much closer to having this, to protecting your family and your friends and I think that’s what we really need to look at it. This is a new epidemic for individuals under 50.”

Overall, ACR health will continue to raise awareness about the use of naloxone kits while providing guidance for counseling, medical treatment and drug rehabilitation programs. 

Last year, ACR Health trained almost 900 people how to administer Naloxone. Fifty overdose reversals we’re reported among those they trained. 

If people in need of naloxone kits have difficulty getting them at pharmacies or finding a pharmacy that will supply it, they can call (315) 475-2430.