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Naloxone will be available for first responders and others

Now on its way to the Governor for his signature, House Bill 170 was passed this week by the Ohio Legislature as the House concurred with Senate amendments. Sponsored by Rep. Terry Johnson, MD (R-McDermott) and Rep. Michael Stinziano (D-Columbus), this bill will increase the availability of the life-saving medication, Naloxone, to those individuals in a position to help overdose victims, including friends and family members, as well as law enforcement and emergency medical responders.

Typically administered intranasally or through an autoinjector (similar to an EpiPen), Naloxone can be used on an individual experiencing an opioid-related overdose.

The bill also includes certain immunities.

BILL SUMMARY (following are some of the highlights of the bill)

  • Authorizes a physician or other health care professional who is authorized to prescribe drugs to personally furnish naloxone or issue a prescription for the drug to a friend, family member, or other individual in a position to provide assistance to an individual who there is reason to believe is at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose.
  • Grants a health care professional who in good faith furnishes or issues a prescription for naloxone immunity from criminal or civil liability or professional disciplinary action for the actions or omissions of the individual to whom the drug is furnished or prescription is issued.
  • Requires the health care professional to instruct the individual to whom the drug is furnished or prescription issued to summon emergency services immediately before or immediately after administering the naloxone.
  • Grants immunity from criminal liability to a family member, friend, or other individual (except for certain licensed emergency responders) who administers naloxone obtained pursuant to the bill, if the individual summons emergency services.
  • Grants immunity from administrative action and criminal prosecution to a peace officer acting in good faith who administers naloxone if it is obtained from the law enforcement agency that employs the officer and that agency is licensed as a terminal distributor of dangerous drugs.

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