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Bill Would Make Ohio Train Pharmacists On Naloxone Law

Naloxone is an antidote that can help reverse drug overdoses.
John Minchillo
Associated Press
Naloxone is an antidote that can help reverse drug overdoses.

Ohio law permits pharmacists to give the overdose antidote Naloxone without a prescription to people who deal with opioid addiction. One lawmaker is proposing a measure to help ensure pharmacists follow through.

Democratic state Sen. Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) has sponsored a bill that would require the State Board of Pharmacy to educate pharmacists about the current Ohio law that allows people to get Naloxone without a prescription. She says a recent newspaper survey showed many pharmacies are not following that law.

“In fact, 20% of the pharmacies surveyed incorrectly stated that customers would need a prescription for Naloxone. Consequently, many pharmacies didn’t have Naloxone in stock," Antonio says.

Naloxone, known sometimes by the brand name Narcan, is a drug that can be administered through needle or nasal spray to reverse an opioid overdose. Antonio says it's is an important tool to fight Ohio's opioid crisis.

“We know we must do everything possible to remove the barriers that could prevent Ohioans from accessing this life saving medication," she says.

The Ohio Senate passed the bill to require pharmacist training on Naloxone unanimously last month. Antonio is hoping the House will follow suit soon.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.