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February 20, 2018

Independence Blue Cross to make Narcan free for members

Opioids Narcan
IBX Headquarters IBX/for PhillyVoice

Independence Blue Cross announced on Tuesday that it will provide a life-saving opioid and heroin antidote to members free of charge.

The Philadelphia-based health provider said it will stop charging subscribers for injectable and nasal spray forms of naloxone, better known by the brand name Narcan. The drug has been available in Pennsylvania without a written prescription since the fall of 2015.

In a statement, IBX Chief Medical Officer Dr. Richard Snyder said the move will help make the antidote more readily available and will "hopefully save more lives."

“Our hope is that anyone struggling with opioid addiction can get appropriate treatment, but they have to be alive to take that step," said Snyder, a member of the task force assembled by Mayor Jim Kenney last fall to help combat the opioid epidemic.

The change will take effect March 1 for fully insured businesses and April 1 for self-funded businesses who choose to participate.

More information on the move can be found here.

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