INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE: Bill aims to increase access to Naloxone, opioid overdose antidote

Posted at 9:47 PM, Jan 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-29 00:20:27-05

BOISE, Idaho — A new bill inside the statehouse aims to improve access in Idaho to Naloxone - the lifesaving medication used during an opioid overdose.

The bill sponsor, Rep. Fred Wood (R-Burley) hopes to change the language in existing law to allow more licensed professionals the ability to dispense the important drug. Current Idaho law only lets pharmacists or doctors prescribe the medication.

"The current use of the phrase 'prescriber or pharmacist' has led some Idaho health systems to delay Naloxone outreach programs that have become common in other states, including Utah," the bill's statement of purpose states. "In such programs, health professionals (who do not traditionally have prescriptive authority) serve as opioid ambassadors, host community education events, and deliver Naloxone to attendees in a position to help patients. The use of the phrase "prescriber or pharmacist" has caused some health systems to inaccurately conclude that similar programs are not possible in Idaho, and thus this change removes any doubt."

Monday the bill was reported out of committee with a do pass recommendation. It's been filed for a second reading.