Cape Cod police departments have been offered another weapon in their arsenal against heroin overdoses. The gift, from Gosnold of Cape Cod, comes in an injectable form. Gosnold announced last week that they have offered Evzio to Cape Cod police departments. Evzio is the injectable form of Naloxone.
Narcan, the nasal-administered form of Naloxone, has become something of a household name recently with the growing number of heroin and other opioid-related overdoses on Cape Cod and across the commonwealth. In 2014, 1,000 suspected overdoses deaths occurred in Massachusetts, according to a release from Gosnold.
Naloxone, or Narcan is capable of reversing the effects of an opioid overdoses. Once only available in hospitals and then to EMTs, Narcan is now carried in police cruisers and fire trucks across Cape Cod. Family members and friends of heroin addicts are also obtaining Narcan kits. As the demand for Narcan has grown, so has the cost, more than doubling in the past year.
Gosnold of Cape Cod made the Evzio offer to local law enforcement during the monthly meeting of the Chiefs of Police on Cape Cod. "The Evzio Naloxone injection device will save lives and give us the chance to help someone get treatment," said Gosnold President & CEO Raymond V. Tamasi.
To date, Gosnold has distributed 40 doses of Evzio to the Bourne Police Department and 80 doses to the Scituate Police Department on the South Shore. The offer made the the chiefs' meeting was met with positive interest and feedback, according to a spokesperson for Gosnold.
"The Cape and Islands police chiefs appreciate the time and commitment of Gosnold on this crucial subject matter," said Mashpee Police Chief Rodney Collins. Gosnold is currently working out distribution details and expects to be providing several Cape police departments with doses of Evzio in the next few weeks.
Chief Collins went on to thank the state legislators including State Representatives Randy Hunt, David Vieira and Brian Mannal, who were also at the meeting. "We are interested in all appropriate measures to address the opioid crisis," said Chief Collins. "We continue to collect information on all available resources that officers are qualified to utilize subject to Massachusetts General Laws and state regulations or contractual provisions."
The Evzio was been made available to Gosnold by Virginia-based Kaléo Pharma, according to the release. Tamasi said Evzio is easy to administer with minimal training.
Evzio, according to the Kaléo website is the first and only Naloxone auto-injector. it is FDA-approved (last year) and contains both visual and voice instructions to make administration easy. Evzio is injected into the patient's outer thigh as opposed to Narcan which is administered nasally. Kaléo launched the Kaléo Cares donation program in November 2014. In January 2015, Kaléo announced the first successful administration and heroin overdose reversal using Evzio. The Evzio was injected into an opioid overdose victim on Christmas Day in Deerfield, Illinois by police officers who had received the drug through the Kaléo Cares donation program.