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Snohomish County to consider $250,000 purchase of naloxone from Minnesota

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(The Center Square) – Snohomish County is looking into purchasing $250,000 worth of naloxone from the State of Minnesota to combat the region’s uptick in fatal drug overdoses.

The Snohomish Health Department is looking to become a member of the Minnesota Multistate Contracting Alliance for Pharmacy Infuse. The organization is a ​​national cooperative group purchasing organization for government facilities that provides healthcare and pharmacy services.

The county wants to become a member of the Minnesota Multistate Contracting Alliance for Pharmacy Infuse in order to “purchase naloxone at a cheaper price,” according to a Snohomish County staff report.

An amendment is being drafted by the county to allow for the purchase of up to $250,000 worth of naloxone and for approval of anything above that by motion. Councilmembers agreed to establish a public hearing for the agreement with the Minnesota Multistate Contracting Alliance for Pharmacy Infuse on July 19.

Snohomish County is dealing with a worsening drug epidemic. The Center Square previously reported on statistics revealing there were 284 total fatal drug overdoses in 2022 alone. That is an average of more than five people dying of overdoses per week.

According to the county, from 2017 to 2022, the number of opioid-related overdose deaths reported more than doubled. Deaths that involved fentanyl increased from 24 to 189.

The latest data provided by the county shows that there have been over 80 overdose deaths within Snohomish County in the first quarter of 2023. More than half being tied to opioids.

Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers announced a plan to address drug use within the region last May. Part of the plan includes sending funds towards the expansion of the county’s First Responder Leave-Behind Program by making naloxone more readily available to Emergency Medical Services.

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