Independence Blue Cross will make naloxone, the opioid overdose reversal drug, available to its subscribers for no charge, the insurance giant announced on Tuesday. The medication, known best by the brand-name Narcan, is credited with saving thousands of lives in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

"By removing a financial barrier to accessing naloxone, we can make the drug more readily available and hopefully save more lives," said Richard Snyder, the chief medical officer for Independence and a member of Mayor Kenney's task force on opioids. "Our hope is that anyone struggling with opioid addiction can get appropriate treatment, but they have to be alive to take that step."

Independence will grant subscribers up to six syringes of the reversal drug every 30 days effective Mar. 1. The policy will cover members who are purchasing Narcan for themselves or for a covered subscriber.