BLOG: Capital BlueCross Announces Donation to Equip Police with Naloxone (ROUND-UP)

By: Sophie Stone, Deputy Press Secretary

December 15, 2015

Yesterday, Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Secretary Gary Tennis and Pennsylvania Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine stood with Capital BlueCross officials as they announced their latest action in battling the heroin crisis in Pennsylvania. Capital BlueCross has donated $100,000 to further equip police across Pennsylvania with naloxone, a lifesaving opioid overdose reversal drug. Police have reversed more than 500 overdoses over the past year.

The donation will be distributed by the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association in Capital BlueCross’ 21-county service area.

The Wolf administration is leading efforts to fight the heroin and opioid addiction and overdose epidemic. The 2015-16 budget includes a $9 million initiative to combat the heroin epidemic. Earlier this month, Department of General Services Secretary Curt Topper announced that Pennsylvania Capitol Police are now trained to administer and will carry naloxone. In October, Pennsylvania’s Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine signed a statewide standing order for naloxone, making it possible for all Pennsylvanians to access the life-saving drug. The Wolf Administration announced in April that the Pennsylvania State Police would carry naloxone, so that those troopers who are first on the scene of an overdose can have another tool on-hand during these emergencies.

Check out some of the coverage of yesterday’s announcement:

LNP: Capital BlueCross contributes $100,000 to get heroin antidote naloxone to police.

“Capital BlueCross said Monday it is giving $100,000 to police departments in 21 Pennsylvania counties including Lancaster so they can purchase the heroin antidote naloxone. The announcement was praised by state health officials, who say the state is battling the worst epidemic of drug overdoses and deaths it has ever seen. ‘With this money, we have the potential to help not only hundreds of people with the disease of addiction, but the thousands of family members and friends whose lives are also affected,’ said Gary Tennis, secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.” [LNP, 12/15/15]

Harrisburg Patriot-News: Midstate insurer provides another dose of heroin overdose life-saver.

“Capital BlueCross said Monday it will spend another $100,000 to put naloxone into police cars in its 21-county service area that includes the midstate… State officials recently said that as of late November, police officers had used naloxone to save 453 overdose victims… State Secretary of Drug and Alcohol Programs Gary Tennis said, ‘For the second time, [Capital has] stepped forward as a leader in fighting the worst overdose death epidemic this state has ever seen … With this money, we have the potential to help not only hundreds of people with the disease of addiction, but the thousands of family members and friends whose lives are also affected.’” [Harrisburg Patriot-News, 12/14/15]

WITF: Health insurer donates $100K for life-saving drug for overdoses.

“Capital BlueCross is donating $100,000 to equip police officers with a life-saving drug. The contribution comes less than a year after it first offered $50,000 to departments to purchase naloxone, and just as Pennsylvania’s heroin death toll is expected to top last year’s high. That’s despite more than 500 life-saving uses of naloxone, which reverses a heroin or other opioid overdose in a matter of minutes. Capital BlueCross’s donation will pay for 1,000 naloxone kits, which many police departments now carry.” [WITF, 12/14/15]

York Daily Record: BlueCross donates $100k for Naloxone.

“Central Pennsylvania insurance company Capital BlueCross has donated another $100,000 to supply Pennsylvania police with the medication that reverses heroin overdoses… ‘What it effectively does is, at $100 a kit, you’re talking about saving 1,000 lives of Pennsylvanians,’ [York County District Attorney Tom] Kearney said. ‘And that is just incredible.’ Gary Tennis, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, said, ‘On behalf of all the people whose lives will be saved by this generous donation, I thank Capital BlueCross.’” [York Daily Record, 12/14/15]

ABC27: Capital BlueCross donates $100K for heroin antidote.

“Capital BlueCross is donating $100,000 to get a heroin antidote to police departments in central Pennsylvania. The donation will pay for 1,000 naloxone kits, which cost about $100 each. Naloxone, also known as Narcan, can reverse the effects of a heroin overdose. Pennsylvania police departments have reversed 522 overdoses since they began carrying naloxone this year.” [ABC27, 12/14/15]



See Secretary Gary Tennis’ blog about Continuing Pennsylvania’s Fight Against Heroin.

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