Emergent steps to the plate with Major League Baseball and virtual experience for opioid overdose awareness

Emergent BioSolutions highlights the tragedy of tens of thousands of opioid overdose deaths annually—enough to fill a baseball stadium—by teaming up with several Major League Baseball teams.

The “Cut Out Overdoses” campaign directs people to a website where they enter a virtual stadium filled with fan silhouettes. Tapping on a silhouette opens up the story of a person who died of a drug overdose.

Heartbreaking stories written by family members delve into the lives of overdose victims like Jarrod, who was 19 and loved playing baseball with his younger brother, or Tara, who had bright blue eyes and a laugh that helped melt others’ worries away. Each story ends with the message, “It’s too late to save them, but it’s not too late to save someone you love.”

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The stories also encourage viewers to “Take a Stand” by talking to doctors or pharmacists about overdose reversal medicine; sharing the hashtag #CutOutOverdose; or donating to the non-profit advocacy group Mothers Against Prescription Drug Abuse (MAPDA).

Three MLB teams—the Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies—along with MAPDA, will highlight the overdose problem at their stadiums with special announcements, videos and presentations. The effort coincides with International Overdose Awareness Day today.

Emergent bought Adapt Pharma and its flagship product Narcan nasal spray, approved as an emergency treatment of opioid overdose, in a $735 million deal in 2018. Sales of Narcan were $145 million for the first six months of 2020, an increase of 5% over the same time period in 2019.

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The campaign website points out that one person dies of an accidental opioid overdose every 15 minutes. That’s almost 47,000 Americans every year, and as the landing page says, “It’s unacceptable.”

Doug White, SVP and devices business unit head at Emergent said in a news release that the campaign is meant to “highlight the important role that overdose reversal medicines play in preparing individuals and families in the event of an accidental opioid overdose.”