New Law in Maryland Increases Naloxone Availability
In Maryland, pharmacists can now provide naloxone without a prescription to anyone certified through the Overdose Response Program. This program began in March of 2016 and has trained 13,000 people.
Dr. Howard Haft, deputy secretary at Maryland’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, used his authority under a new law to allow certified individuals to purchase naloxone at a pharmacy. The statewide standing order gives these individuals a statewide prescription.
The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene recently stated that “Eighty-six percent of all overdose deaths in 2014 were opioid-related and potentially could have been prevented had naloxone been administered in a timely manner” (Blakinger, 2016). Overdose deaths in Maryland increased by 60 percent from 2010 to 2014.
The law that allows the standing order implemented by Dr. Haft was a Good Samaritan law that also “provides legal immunity to anyone trying to help someone who has overdosed” (Blakinger, 2016).
Blakinger, K. (2016). In Maryland, preventing overdoses just got easier. Retrieved from https://www.thefix.com/maryland-preventing-overdoses-just-got-easier