U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Date of this Version


Document Type



Addictive Behaviors 86 (2018) 86–89



U.S. government works are not subject to copyright.


Anecdotal evidence indicates that naloxone prices have risen in recent years, but limited research has examined the magnitude of these increases and potential causes. We contribute nationally representative evidence to help answer each of these questions, including wholesale pricing data from a proprietary drug sales database span- ning January 2006 to February 2017. We find that all formulations of naloxone increased in price since 2006 except for Narcan Nasal Spray. These cumulative increases totaled 2281% for the 0.4 MG single-dose products, 244% for the 2 MG single-dose products, 3797% for the 4 MG multi-dose products, and 469% for the 0.4 MG Evzio auto-injector. We believe that increased demand for naloxone from the opioid epidemic may explain the more gradual price increases for the 0.4 MG single-dose and 4 MG multi-dose products prior to 2012. On the other hand, we believe that the sudden, sustained prices increases occurring for all of the products since 2012 may be the result of a drug shortage for the 0.4 MG single-dose products and the fact that each naloxone product has historically been sold by only a single competitor.