State Representative Tim Ginter (R-Salem) today applauded the passage of House Bill 4 through the Ohio House of Representatives. This legislation works to take further strides in curtailing the opiate drug epidemic in Ohio by expanding access to a life-saving medication.
House Bill 4 expands access to naloxone, a medication used to protect an individual experiencing an opioid-related drug overdose. Naloxone reverses the effects of opioids during an overdose, which can effectively shut down a person’s respiratory system.
“Ohio is in the midst of a drug epidemic,” Ginter said. “Unintentional drug overdose has surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of accidental death. This bill expands access to life-saving naloxone to individuals suffering from an addiction, benefiting not only the individual but their family members and loved ones. I am proud to have voted for this bill.”
The bill allows a physician to authorize naloxone to a patient who is at risk of overdosing or to a person who might be able to assist that patient during an opioid-induced overdose. House Bill 4 also requires a physician to have in writing certain protocol for furnishing naloxone. Additionally, pharmacists will have the ability to dispense the medication with this bill’s passage.
As amended in committee, the legislation also now requires the Ohio Department of Health to create a model protocol for naloxone and gives it permission to sell the medication wholesale to law enforcement officials. Health departments will also have the ability to issue naloxone protocols through their medical director or health commissioner.
House Bill 4 passed with unanimous support on the House floor and it will now head to the Senate for further consideration.