NewsPublic Affairs / March 10, 2016

Overdose Intervention Drug Measure Advances To Governor

Naloxone immediately halts the effects of an opioid overdose. - file photo

Naloxone immediately halts the effects of an opioid overdose.

file photo

INDIANAPOLIS -- The General Assembly approved a bill Wednesday that aims to give more people access to the overdose intervention drug naloxone and protect them when they use it.

Naloxone immediately halts the effects of an opioid overdose. The legislature last session allowed people other than first responders to use it.

But people still needed a doctor’s prescription to get the drug, and many pharmacies didn’t stock it.

Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis, says this year’s bill will allow the state to issue what’s called a standing order to pharmacies, meaning they can dispense naloxone without a doctor’s prescription.

“That somebody who might be concerned, just for a friend, that would have it on hand. They could easily go to the pharmacy and purchase it,” Merritt says.

Walgreens already planned to offer the drug in Indiana before this bill.

Rep. Wendy McNamara, R-Evansville, says the measure also helps people who administer naloxone by shielding them from drug charges under certain conditions.

“Somebody who follows instructions, who gives naloxone to somebody who’s overdosing on heroin, stays at the scene, [and] provides their information will receive immunity,” McNamara says.

The bill now heads to the governor’s desk for his signature.

At WFYI, our goal is to cover stories that matter to you. Our reporting is rooted in facts. It considers all perspectives and is available to everyone. We don't have paywalls, but we do need support. So if unbiased, trusted journalism is important to you, please join us. Donate now.



Related News

Stutzman Resigning From Indiana House, Blames Governor
How A Coal Plant's Closures Could Affect One Indiana Town And What It Plans To Do About It
Coronavirus Forcing Low Key Inaugural For Indiana Governor