Some medical providers aren’t handing out doses of life-saving drugs that can reverse an opioid overdose because of the way an Idaho law is written.
Naloxone has become standard equipment for police, emergency responders – and even some librarians – across the country. The opioid epidemic in the U.S. killed more than 42,000 people in 2016.
But Idaho state code says only a pharmacist or someone who can prescribe medication can hand out the drug.
“If first responders can’t provide this medication or if family members can’t provide this medication – if you’re going to wait even 10 minutes, that could be too late,” says Rep. Fred Wood (R-Burley), who’s trying to change the law.
Under his bill, any licensed healthcare professional can dispense Naloxone. If it becomes law, even a nurse would be able to dispense the drug to someone battling addiction or their family members.
The Food and Drug Administration is working to make Naloxone available for people to buy without a prescription as a way to curb rising overdose death rates.
A House committee unanimously approved Wood’s bill Monday morning. It now heads to the House floor.
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