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Rising cost of life-saving drug making it harder to fight overdoses

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – For several months now, first responders have being using Narcan to help try and save people who are overdosing on heroin, but the price of Narcan keeps rising which is a big concern for cities around the country.

St. Louis Fire Captain Garon Mosby said the cost of Narcan is going up and they are noticing it typically takes about two doses to stop an overdose.

Mosby said the department buys Narcan in bulk and it typically costs about $40 per dose. The nasal spray form, which the firefighters carry on their trucks, is about $60 per dose.

According to Truven Health Analytics, about 10 years ago, a dose of Narcan cost less than a dollar.

In June, Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) and several other senators sent a letter to the five pharmaceutical companies that produce Narcan, asking for an explanation for the recent price changes.

"At the same time, this epidemic is killing tens of thousands of Americans a year we are seeing the price go up by one thousand percent or more," McCaskill wrote.

Narcan is now sold over the counter in Missouri and Illinois.

At CVS and Walgreens, Narcan costs about $100.