DES MOINES — A company that makes a nasal spray that reverses opioid overdoses is pushing to expand access to the medication in Iowa. Larry Lanier is a lobbyist for Emergent Biosolutions, which manufacturers the opioid reversal drug naloxone and sold under the brand name NARCAN.
“Our country’s in the midst of an epidemic right now that’s invading our communities, our neighborhoods, our families,” he says. “It’s taking the lives of our citizens and, even worse, it’s killing our children.”
Iowa law lets pharmacists dispense naloxone without a prescription, but the pharmacy keeps a record of who gets it, which could discourage people from picking up a kit. Other states let non-profits, businesses and other organizations register to distribute naloxone kits anonymously. During an online forum on Friday, Lanier asked Governor Reynolds and Iowa lawmakers to adopt that policy.
“There are community organizations that are very good at that. It’s called secondary distribution,” Lanier said. “As we move into 2023, we look forward to an opportunity to converse and collaborating with you, Governor Reynolds, and with the legislature to talk about ways that we can increase community distribution in Iowa.”
In 2021, 258 Iowans died of an opioid overdose — a 21% increase from the year before.