ALBANY, N.Y. -- At this time, New York is essentially a Narcan-only state when it comes to drugs that first responders can use to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

The state, through a non-competitive bid process, contracted pharmaceutical company Emergent Devices to supply the name brand naloxone through the end of July.

There is also a standing order allowing people to carry four milligram doses of naloxone for life-saving purposes without a prescription.

"We have a Food and Drug Administration for a reason and if they're approving these drugs for use, then I don't think it's up to us to start saying, well, we like this one, we don't like that one," state Assemblyman Phil Steck, D-Colonie, said.

Steck carried legislation requiring the state Health Department to make available any formulation and dosage of opioid reversal agent approved by the FDA. It narrowly passed the Assembly but never reached a full vote in the state Senate.

"I think all roads lead to this being a better option but when you're dealing with New York state, especially when you're dealing with state bureaucracy, it's very difficult to get the state to move," he said.

Broome County Sheriff Fred Akshar is running a pilot program in which some deputies are using Opvee, the name brand of a newer reversal agent called nalmefene.

"It's just an acknowledgment that Narcan in many instances is having to be deployed two, three, four and sometimes five times to reverse the effects of synthetic opioids," Akshar said.

He said Opvee can work more quickly and with fewer doses in some cases. Akshar said 12 to 15 of his deputies are only carrying it and its also used in the correctional facility.

The sheriff said the more data the county can collect, the better.

"Unfortunately right now, the pool is just so small in terms of our pilot and the constituency we interact with," Akshar said.

The state Department of Health said the sheriff's program is illegal and has asked him to discontinue it. It said based on current science the products available under the standing order are appropriate.

Opponents point to a comparative lack of research available about Opvee and potential longer withdrawal periods as drawbacks. Consultant Bill Van Slyke said there at least four generic naloxone doses available and New York should do more to open the market up as it continues to outpace other states on overdose deaths.

"We've become comfortable and accustomed to things that are terrible and we've become desensitized to those things," he said.

Steck said he will reintroduce legislation next session but advocates say the governor and Department of Health could make the changes administratively sooner.