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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

More States Expand Naloxone Access

Prescription opioids
In states that have been hit hard by the prescription opioid epidemic, steps have been taken recently to ensure greater access to the life saving drug naloxone. Last week, the governor of Ohio, John Kasich (R), signed emergency legislation that will make naloxone available without a prescription, The Huffington Post reports.

All over the country, naloxone has saved thousands of lives in recent years - lives that would have otherwise been taken by an overdose. Unfortunately, in some states it is quite difficult to acquire the medication without a prescription, which means the task of administering the miracle drug rests on first responders. Making the drug available over-the-counter to the loved one’s of addicts would undoubtedly save more lives.

Between 1996 and 2014, naloxone saved the lives of almost 27,000 people who overdosed, according to a government report.

In May, the state of Kentucky enacted similar legislation, allowing the family members of addicts to acquire naloxone without a prescription, according to the article. Both Ohio and Kentucky have been hit especially hard by the opioid epidemic claiming hundreds of lives - some of which could have been saved by naloxone.

Congress Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) called upon the Food and Drug Administration to make naloxone available over-the-counter at an April oversight hearing.

“Right now, it’s hard to get,” Burgess told The Huffington Post. “If it were available at a 24-hour pharmacy, not saying it could save every life at risk, it could save some. The downside of having it available is what?”

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