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November 07, 2023

Proposed Narcan bill seeks tax incentives for individual buyers

Credit: Sullivan County Democrat

The Supporting Access to Vital and Affordable Care for Everyone (SAVE Act) introduced by U.S. Representative Marc Molinaro would increase access to over-the-counter (OTC) medications like Narcan if it is passed. 

The proposed Federal legislation would seek to allow the purchasing of the lifesaving medication to be a deductable medical expense on that individual person’s taxes.

As Sullivan County, Broome County and a number of towns throughout New York’s 19th Congressional District struggle with rises in opioid overdoses caused by extremely strong fentanyl, Representative Molinaro introduced the bill, along with U.S. Representatives Mike Carey (R-OH-15), David Trone (D-MD-6), Brittany Pettersen (D-CO-7), Darin LaHood (R-IL-16), and Chris Pappas (D-NH-1).

“Naloxone and Narcan can reverse an opioid overdose and is a crucial tool in helping save lives amid a local and national spike in opioid overdose deaths,” Rep. Molinaro said in a statement. 

“Unfortunately for many, the medication isn’t always affordable. A good Samaritan who purchases lifesaving Naloxone should not have that expense weigh down on their family’s budget. My bipartisan bill will make OTC naloxone, such as Narcan, accessible to everyone, regardless of income.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that in over half of all fatal overdoses, there was at least one chance for an onlooker to step in and save lives. One nasal spray of Nalox (Narcan) can save a life.

“We’re pretty happy about this proposed bill,” said Sullivan County Commissioner of Health and Human Services, John Liddle. “And we’re pretty happy about how hard we worked to get Narcan into the community.”

According to the Commissioner, Narcan is crucial because it reverses the effects of an overdose. 

“Every time it’s given, it is done with the intention to save lives. It is going to save a life,” said Liddle.

“We still want to encourage people to get treatment. As we always say in Human Services: ‘we cannot treat anybody who passes away’.”

“We just appreciate how our elective officials continue to pay attention to this issue and are glad to be working together to save more lives,” said Liddle.

Sullivan County Director of Public Health Karen Holden said she is “fully on board with this.” 

“Anything to put Narcan in more hands of the people,” she said.