Kirk: Speed up overdose death prevention drug
U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is asking the Food and Drug Administration to speed up approval of nasal use of a drug that can prevent heroin overdose deaths.
The Highland Park Republican sent a letter to the FDA Thursday saying approval of a nasal spray for Naloxone could take eight years at a time when heroin overdose deaths in the suburbs continue to be a problem.
The drug, when given via a needle, can prevent an overdose death, but some people aren't comfortable giving an injection.
In the letter, Kirk points to DuPage County, where some first responders have used the needle form of the drug with a special nasal spray device and have saved lives in the process.
FDA approval could lead to the drug being produced in nasal spray packages, which could make them easier to use for authorities who lack the medical training to give an injection.
"To date, the intranasal spray device has been used 22 times this year and has saved the lives of 22 individuals, delivering a 100 percent success rate," Kirk wrote in the letter.