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Shortage of anti-overdose drug kits resolved in B.C.

FILE PHOTO - The contents of a take-home naloxone kit can be seen in this file photo.
June 06, 2016 - 4:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - A backlog affecting the distribution of the overdose halting naloxone kits is no more.

Jane Buxton, with the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, says there is no shortage of naloxone kits currently. While Buxton isn’t certain about the backlog provincial health minister Terry Lake was talking about last week, she points out there was a shortage of containers for the take-home kits in April.

During the container shortage she says orders to distribution sites weren’t sent out in full, to make sure all sites got some, she says, and the perception there’s a shortage may still be out there.

Buxton says the Centre for Disease Control doesn't want to see kits building up in places they aren’t needed, so there are controls on how many kits are sent out at a time, especially to new sites that may order too many. This may cause some organizations to believe there’s a shortage if they don't get the full amount they asked for.

“There is a huge demand because we’re seeing overdoses at a rate we’ve never seen before,” she says.

Naloxone has a shelf life of about two years after the province receives it from the manufacturer.

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