Huntington recieves donation for 4,000 Narcan injectors

The city of Huntington received a donation of 4,000 EVZIO auto-injectors from Kaléo, a pharmaceutical company dedicated to helping those with life-threatening medical conditions Wednesday during a press conference. The EVZIO auto-injectors are used by those without medical training to administer naloxone for people experiencing opioid overdose.

Evan Edwards, a cofounder of Kaléo, attended the press conference to explain the company’s goals as well recognize the progress Huntington has already made.

“While the national overdose rates continue to rise,” Edwards said, “the leadership to help develop a coordinated, all-hands-on-deck, community approach to this epidemic is paying its dividends as the overdose rate in this region has actually slown.”

Kaléo has donated roughly 5,000 EVZIO auto-injectors to the city of Huntington and the department of health since 2016. The company has donated over 300,000 auto-injectors to different companies and cities over the years.

Edwards also presented the Kaléo Cares Awards at the conference. This is an award to recognize individuals and organizations that have helped make a difference fighting opioid overdose. Edwards presented the awards to Dr. Michael Kilkenny, physician director of the Department of Health, and Jan Rader, the Huntington fire chief, saying they have been contributors in helping save lives throughout the city.

“Thanks to their combined efforts and the efforts of the community and the region,” Edwards said, “the region has actually seen progress in the fight against opioid overdose epidemic.”

Kilkenny praised Kaléo and their donation when talking about how the overdose rate has decreased in the last few months.

“We need naloxone to save lives, and their donation is actually doing that,” Kilkenny said. “The community is pulling together to fight, and this is giving us the ammunition.”

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito also attended the conference and said she was not aware the people of Huntington have been provided with EVZIO.

“I didn’t realize until today that of the 5,000 doses they had, they give some out to the community,” Capito said. “I think it’s a much broader usage of naloxone, so when (Edwards) says the overdose rate has come down, I think it’s a major contributor. I think it’s a lifesaver.”

Members of the community are able to pick up EVZIO auto-injectors from the Cabell-Huntington Department of Health after taking a naloxone training course, which are offered weekly.

Sarah Ingram can be contacted at [email protected]