Last month, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams urged more Americans to carry and learn to use naloxone, which can save someone from an opioid overdose. But the drug, brand-name Narcan, can be difficult to get and expensive.
Standards for how to investigate and report on overdoses vary widely across states and counties. As a result, opioid overdose deaths often go overlooked in the data reported to the federal government.
Seema Verma is a consultant who was Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s health policy advisor when he was governor of Indiana, playing a key role in Medicaid expansion in that state.
Carfentanil, a potent variation on fentanyl, is being blamed for a wave of opioid overdoses. In Cincinnati, the coroner, crime lab and first responders are struggling to keep up.
Medicaid and other health insurers require doctors to file time-consuming paperwork before allowing them to prescribe drugs that help people quit opioids. That delay fosters relapse, specialists say.