Legislation Would Increase Access to Opioid Antagonists

January 24, 2019

I have authored legislation to increase access to life-saving opioid antagonists, like Narcan (naxalone). Opioid antagonists immediately reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

“Families across Connecticut feel the devastating impact of the opioid crisis every day,” Rep. Doucette said. “It is a public health epidemic that is claiming more and more lives.”

House Bill 5909 would allow public access to opioid antagonists without a prescription when a person is at risk of an opioid-related drug overdose. The bill would also ensure that pharmacies across the state maintain adequate supplies of the life-saving drugs.

According to the Network for Public Health Law, 46 states currently allow a standing order allowing pharmacists to dispense Narcan without needing a patient-specific prescription.

“This bill is another step in the right direction in our fight against opioid abuse,” Rep. Doucette said. “Narcan saves lives. There is no downside.”

Rep. Doucette worked closely with Manchester, CT HOPE Initiative on the legislation – a partnership between Manchester Police and community-based programs to prevent treat & combat the heroin/opioid epidemic.

“Based on our experience, access to Narcan is unfortunately more difficult than it needs to be,” said Sarah Howroyd, co-founder of Manchester, CT HOPE Initiative. “With 1,027 Connecticut residents lost to overdose in 2017 alone, we must make Narcan readily available and easily accessible. No one should die due to additional barriers to access and this bill circumvents the red tape presently in place and will indisputably save countless lives.”

The legislation awaits action by the legislature’s Public Health Committee.