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Dartmouth tech company breaks into U.S. market with naloxone dispenser


A technology company in Dartmouth, N.S., is growing its business while helping reverse the effects of opioid overdoses in the United States. 

Dispension Industries Inc. introduced its 'safe kiosk' technology in Philadelphia on Thursday. The dispensing machine will offer free naloxone kits to those who need one through a self-service dispensing machine. 

“It’s really exciting for us," said Matthew Michaelis, the chief operating officer at Dispension Inc. "The ability to export our technology to the United States from Canada is huge. This is our first deployment outside of our Canadian borders.”

Dispension Inc. and Philadelphia public health have partnered to help fight the overdose crisis with the 'Narcan Near Me' program, which will see the setupof two smart kiosk machines and offer 22 overdose prevention kits. Each kit includes the medication naloxone, which can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.  

Michaelis said two dispensing machines will be set up at a library and transit station as part of a pilot project, with the plan to expand the service to eight locations in south and west Philadelphia. 

“The idea is to meet these people where they are at and to put services in their neighbourhoods," said Michaelis. 

Dispension Inc. CEO Corey Yantha was in Philadelphia Thursday to help set up and introduce the machines. He is hopefulthe program will create further expansion opportunities in the U.S.

“We’re exporting technology from the great city of Dartmouth and so it’s a big achievement for Dispension, but I think more importantly it’s a great initiative the 'Narcan Near Me Initiative’,” said Yantha. "We'd love to expand this program. I think there is a huge need."

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said too many Philadelphians have lost their lives to an opioid overdose and called it a "crisis."

"That’s why we are trying new and novel ideas to help save lives," said Kenney. "The Narcan Near Me towers from Dispension, Inc. is exactly the type of bold response that we need. With these Towers, we can ensure that life-saving Naloxone is available 24 hours a day in areas that need it.”

Naloxone kitscan save lives and in Canada kits are readily available and are oftenfree at participating pharmacies, along with free instructions on how to administer the medication. 

Dispension Inc. and its harm reduction kiosks have been part of a safe drug supply program at five locations across Canada, in partnership with Health Canada and Dr. Mark Tyndal of the MySafe Society. 

Their machines work like an ATM and provide patients access to prescribed opioids as an alternative to toxic illegal drugs by scanning their hands. Top Stories

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