Georgia removes naloxone from list of dangerous drugs
At the request of Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, the Georgia Board of Pharmacy has approved an emergency rule to remove naloxone – which can be used to reverse the effects of opioid overdoses – from the list of dangerous drugs in the state and to change its classification to an exempt, Schedule V drug.
Gov. Deal also directed the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) to issue a standing order to allow naloxone to be dispensed on an over-the-counter basis by pharmacists in the state.
A press release that was issued by Gov. Deal’s office on December 14 said that, “The state of Georgia and the country as a whole are currently experiencing an opioid abuse epidemic. In the fight against this trend, naloxone has come to be considered an important and life-saving tool in treating opioid overdoses. We are now building upon our previous efforts to expand access to naloxone for first responders and others who regularly encounter overdoses as they are occurring by placing this tool in the hands of Georgians, especially parents, who are both firsthand witnesses and victims of opioid overdose. We will continue working to implement similar efforts to save lives across the state.”
It also pointed out that, “Yesterday, the 21st Century Cures Act, bipartisan health care legislation that includes additional federal funding for states to fight the opioid crisis, was signed into law. Funding from this legislation will expand access to naloxone and help lower its price.”
And the release said that Gov. Deal plans to introduce additional legislation in the 2017 legislative session to “continue fighting the opioid epidemic plaguing Georgia.”
DPH Commissioner Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., added that, “Naloxone is a powerful weapon in the fight against the increasing epidemic of opioid abuse that poses a threat to public health in Georgia. The governor’s decisive action to make this drug accessible to anyone in a position to assist persons at risk of overdose will save countless lives.”
Go to www.rxdrugabuse.org for information on the MAG Foundation’s ‘Think About It’ campaign to reduce prescription drug abuse in Georgia.