(WAFB) - Governor John Bel Edwards has announced the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) has received a donation of 4,000 naloxone auto-injectors from Kaléo Pharma.
The donation was made possible through the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services to first responders in the state to reduce the number of overdoses from opioids. The donation also included 2,000 voice-activated training devices.
"The opioid epidemic in Louisiana is a serious problem that deserves our attention, and this donation from Kaléo is going to help us in our fight to prevent more deaths from this terrible addiction. This issue has been a priority for my administration, and we have worked alongside state lawmakers who also understand the importance of implementing policies that will help save lives. This is not the first time Kaléo has made a donation of this magnitude and we are grateful the company is as committed to solving this crisis as we are," said Edwards.
Naloxone is a fast-acting medicine used to reverse an opioid overdose. This is the second largest donation ever made by Kaléo. Back in 2015, the company donated more than 8,000 naloxone injectors.
"Kaléo is honored to work with Governor Edwards to make this donation of 4,000 EVZIO naloxone auto-injectors to the State of Louisiana. Kaléo is proud to support the outstanding efforts of the first responder community to help save the lives of those who are experiencing an opioid overdose," said Spencer Williamson, president and CEO of Kaléo.
Opioid-related deaths have been increasing in Louisiana since 2012, from 155 deaths in 2012 to 305 in 2016.
"With opioid-related overdoses and deaths at an epidemic level in Louisiana, this donation is critical to helping local first responders have the right antidote at their fingertips when every second counts in saving a life," said Dr. Rebekah Gee, secretary of LDH.