State Representative Sarah LaTourette (R-Chester Township) today announced the passage of House Bill 421, legislation she sponsored. The bill authorizes a pharmacist to administer certain injectable drugs that have been prescribed to a patient.

This authorization addresses three of the most important and pressing health issues in Ohio—severe mental illness, substance abuse, and infant mortality. The bill is narrowly tailored to include specific injectable medications:

• certain prescription drugs that counteract the effects of an opioid overdose
• antipsychotics
• prenatal treatments for pregnant women at high risk of complications
• vitamin B12, which treats anemia

Under current law, pharmacists are already authorized to administer certain immunizations by injection. House Bill 421 seeks to expand that authorization to include the drugs listed. A pharmacist must complete a course in the administration of drugs approved by the State Board of Pharmacy and be certified in a basic life-training course in order to be qualified to dispense these drugs by injection.

“I am pleased to see this legislation pass the House with overwhelming support. This common-sense bill will increase access to treatment for those in need of certain injectable medications, which will improve healthcare outcomes and ensure treatment success,” said Representative LaTourette. “Mental health, the opioid epidemic, and infant mortality are critical issues facing Ohioans, and it just makes sense to engage pharmacists in the treatment effort to combat these challenges.”

Additionally, the bill provides that in the circumstance a patient has an allergic or adverse reaction to the drug given, the pharmacist may utilize epinephrine or an antihistamine to offset the symptoms.

House Bill 421 now awaits a committee designation in the Ohio Senate.

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