McNamara's legislation preventing fatal overdoses advances

Posted by: Jessica Baker  | Monday, February 29, 2016

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 29, 2016) – The House of Representatives voted unanimously today in support of a bill sponsored by State Rep. Wendy McNamara (R-Evansville) that would require the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) to issue a statewide standing order for overdose intervention drugs containing naloxone, or Narcan, to be sold over-the-counter at pharmacies.

“Unfortunately, Indiana is facing a drug epidemic,” McNamara said. “Hoosiers are dying from heroin and prescription pain pill overdoses. Hopefully we can help families of addicts save their loved one’s life when an overdose occurs.”

If enacted, Senate Bill (SB) 187 could help reduce fatal drug overdoses by permitting pharmacies to sell overdose intervention drugs like Narcan over-the-counter without a prescription. Narcan is a safe, non-addictive medication that reverses the effects of drug overdoses. This legislation would require pharmacies and emergency ambulance services to submit to the ISDH an annual report of the dates and number of times the drug is sold and administered.

“It is crucial that we allow Hoosiers to easily purchase this life-saving medicine, so that in the event of an overdose they can act quickly and hopefully save a life,” McNamara said. “By allowing Narcan to be sold over-the-counter, we are offering family and friends of drug addicts immediate access to drugs that can protect their loved ones.”

Indiana residents currently need a prescription to obtain Narcan, which poses a difficult problem for family members, concerned friends or other loved ones who need the drug in emergency situations.

Visit www.iga.in.gov for more information on SB 187.

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Rep. McNamara (R-Evansville) represents portions of Posey and Vanderburgh counties.