GOLETA, Calif. - Direct Relief did a survey of health care centers and clinics dealing with the nation's opioid epidemic.
Many clinics and centers requested an overdose-reversing drug called Naloxone.
In March, the Goleta-based nonprofit starting sending Naloxone to centers and clinics in 38 states including California.
Pfizer has agreed to provide a million doses over the next four years.
Caroline Roan, vice president, Corporate Responsibility, Pfizer said “Our support of Direct Relief’s work to increase community education about the risks of opioid abuse and recently expanded Naloxone Access Program underscore our dedication to helping address the growing opioid overdose epidemic.”
Prescription opioid and heroin deaths have quadrupled since 1999, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
During an emergency, Naloxone can be injected into a muscle or vein to revive normal breathing.
“America’s nonprofit community health centers and clinics are on the front lines of the opioid overdose epidemic, as they are in every major public health issue,” said Direct Relief President and CEO Thomas Tighe.
Direct Relief operates the nation’s largest charitable medicine program, and is licensed to distribute prescription drugs.
The next shipments containing Naloxone, needles, syringes and alcohol swabs will be sent to clinics in June.
Health care providers will be able to administer the drug or prescribe the drug to patients trained to use it in the case of emergency.
Donations to help with the effort may be made to directrelief.org