Today, state Sen. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) announced the unanimous passage of her legislation to help save lives by training pharmacists that they can dispense the overdose-reversing drug naloxone without a prescription.
“Too many pharmacists are not aware that they can dispense naloxone legally in Ohio without a prescription,” said Antonio. “Last year, a Cleveland Plain Dealer investigation
truly concerned me and was the catalyst for this legislation. With the opioid epidemic as horrific as it is in Ohio, we need every tool available to keep our friends, family and loved ones alive.”
In April 2018, the Cleveland Plain Dealer surveyed 275 Northeast Ohio pharmacies, and many them did not know that naloxone can be dispensed without a prescription.
Senate Bill 59 would require all pharmacists and technicians, who work in pharmacies and currently dispense naloxone, to receive training that teaches them that it can be dispensed without a prescription. In 2015, the Ohio legislature passed a law
to allow pharmacists to use a standing order, signed by a doctor, to dispense naloxone to customers who do not have their own prescription.
Ohio’s opioid epidemic claims the lives of over 4,500 people annually, which puts Ohio among the top five states in the country
with the highest opioid-related death rates.
The bill now heads to the Ohio House for referral to a committee.