Middletown, Ohio Republican councilman Dan Picard wants to teach drug addicts a real-life lesson about drug abuse — overdose in Middletown and we are going to let you die. This story is a perfect example of what Republicans want to do when it comes to healthcare. Are you overweight? Diabetic? Do you have high blood pressure? Why should anyone pay for your medical care? Take care of it yourself – and if you can’t? Die. It is beyond me how anyone who cares about human welfare can continue to support Republicans, both at the state and federal levels. What we have is a clash of worldviews, one which puts people first, another which only concerns itself with money and bottom line. Perhaps Narcan is too expensive. Is it within the power of local, state, and federal officials to force drug companies to reduce the cost of the drug? According to Wikipedia, Narcan (Naloxone) costs less than $5 per dose. In the United States, the “price for a package of two auto-injectors in the US, however, has increased from $690 in 2014 to $4,500 in 2016.” Welcome to the perverseness of American capitalism and greed. Congress has the power to put an end to immoral price increases such as this one. Unfortunately, as long as drug companies are doling out millions of dollars in campaign donations to our elected officials, it is highly unlikely that anything will be done about the price of not only Narcan but drug prices in general.
An Ohio city is considering whether dispatchers should send ambulances to every overdose call they get, after the number of overdoses this year has already exceeded last year’s total.
Dan Picard, a Middletown city councilman, proposed a “three strikes” limit for opioid addicts after the number of overdoses jumped from 532 last year to 577 so far this year, including 51 deaths, compared to 74 in all of 2016, reported the Journal-News.
“I want to send a message to the world that you don’t want to come to Middletown to overdose because someone might not come with Narcan and save your life,” Picard said. “We need to put a fear about overdosing in Middletown.”
The 61-year-old Picard, who isn’t seeking re-election, suggested issuing a court summons to overdose victims and requiring them to complete community service to work off the cost of their emergency medical services call and a dose of the life-saving Narcan drug.
If they fail to do so following two overdoses, 911 dispatchers could refuse to send help on their third call.
“If the dispatcher determines that the person who’s overdosed is someone who’s been part of the program for two previous overdoses and has not completed the community service and has not cooperated in the program, then we wouldn’t dispatch,” Picard told WLWT-TV.
The city councilman pointed out that cancer patients don’t get free chemotherapy, and he said patients suffering heart attacks don’t get free bypass surgery on an EMS run.