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[Drug and Alcohol Findings] (2016) Naloxone cost-effective lifesaver. London: Drug and Alcohol Findings. Drug and Alcohol Findings Bulletin (21 December 2016)

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The first simulation of the cost-effectiveness of supplying naloxone kits to heroin users to enable them to prevent overdose deaths estimates that in the US context these programmes would be well within the range considered a cost-effective health intervention. Findings are likely to broadly apply to the UK, one weak link being whether drug users given the kits actually carry them around.

Key points from summary and commentary
• The first simulation of the cost-effectiveness of supplying naloxone kits to heroin users to enable them to prevent overdose deaths has endorsed them as a cost-effective health intervention.
• Though constructed for a US context, the results are so robust under widely varying assumptions that the study’s implications are likely to apply broadly to the UK.
• However, in the UK one study has found that very few users given naloxone kits carry them around, reducing the programme’s potential to save lives.

Article: Cost-effectiveness of distributing naloxone to heroin users for lay overdose reversal, Coffin PO, Sullivan SD, Annals of Internal Medicine: 2013, 158, p. 1–9.


Item Type:Evidence resource
Publication Type:Review
Drug Type:Opioid
Intervention Type:AOD disorder harm reduction
Source:Drug and Alcohol Findings
Date:December 2016
Publisher:Drug and Alcohol Findings
Place of Publication:London
Number:21 December 2016
EndNote:View
Subjects:B Substances > Opioids (opiates)
B Substances > Opioids (opiates) > Opioid product > Naloxone
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Health care economics
MP-MR Policy, planning, economics, work and social services > Policy > Policy on substance use > Harm reduction policy
MP-MR Policy, planning, economics, work and social services > Economic policy
VA Geographic area > United States

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