ROUND-UP: Governor Wolf Announces Naloxone Standing Order to Combat Heroin Epidemic
October 29, 2015
Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf yesterday announced a significant step forward in his administration’s fight against the heroin epidemic in Pennsylvania. Governor Wolf stood with Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine at the Pennsylvania Medical Society as Dr. Levine signed a statewide standing order for naloxone, a medication that can reverse an overdose that is caused by an opioid drug. The governor was also joined by Secretary Ted Dallas, Secretary Gary Tennis, Secretary Karen Murphy, and Chairman Josh Shapiro.
Through the signing of this standing order, Dr. Levine has signed a prescription for naloxone to all Pennsylvanians. For more information about naloxone and how to administer it, please visit the Department of Drug and Alcohol Program’s page on overdose reversal. For more information on naloxone and insurance, please see the naloxone FAQs.
Check out some of the coverage of yesterday’s naloxone standing order announcement:
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Overdose antidote available statewide.
“Staggering numbers from the opioid-heroin epidemic nationwide have prompted state officials to increase access to naloxone, the life-saving drug that reverses opioid overdoses. On Wednesday, with Gov. Tom Wolf and other state officials watching, state Physician General Rachel Levine signed a standing order, essentially a statewide prescription, allowing willing pharmacies to dispense naloxone to anyone requesting it. The long-proven drug, also available under the brand name Narcan, has saved 26,463 lives nationwide over the past 20 years, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. Its importance is increasing. Police statewide already have dispensed naloxone to save 320 lives this year, with more lives saved by emergency health officials and bystanders.” [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 10/28/15]
Harrisburg Patriot-News: ‘We have an epidemic here’: Life-saving overdose drug now available without prescription in Pennsylvania.
“Family and friends of opioid addicts now have unfettered access to a life-saving drug in Pennsylvania that can reverse the effects of a drug overdoses… The Wolf Administration has been pushing for the spread of Naloxone since the governor took office in January. Previously, Naloxone was available to people through a prescription. Then, the drug was made available to first responders who arrive on scene of a drug overdose. Now, with the standing order, anyone can purchase Naloxone at a drug store.” [Harrisburg Patriot-News, 10/28/15]
FOX43: VIDEO: Naloxone available to all Pennsylvanians with governor order.
“Naloxone, the life-saving medicine designed to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose and revive an overdose victim, is now more available in Pennsylvania than ever before. Governor Tom Wolf and Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine, along with health and human service directors from the governor’s cabinet, signed and announced the governor’s standing order on Naloxone on Wednesday at the Pennsylvania Medical Society building… For emergency responders like Dr. Daniel Bledsoe of Pinnacle Health’s Life Alert team, the ability for someone to have Naloxone standing by in their home in case of an emergency could mean the difference between life and death… ‘The ability for a mother to have something in her house where she can rescue her child, when seconds count, is very important,’ [said Dr. Bledsoe.]” [FOX43, 10/28/15]
WESA-FM: Heroin Overdose Reversal Drug To Be Available Across PA.
“Citing an ongoing heroin epidemic in Pennsylvania, Gov. Wolf issued a standing order to make the heroin overdose reversal drug naloxone available at all pharmacies in the state. According to the state Department of Health, 2400 Pennsylvanians died from drug overdoses in 2014… Wolf told Essential Pittsburgh that he previously issued measures to prevent heroin-related deaths, and said those measures were successful. ‘I announced that all Pennsylvania state police cars will be equipped with naloxone kits,’ Wolf said. ‘This has already saved lives, including out in Allegheny County.’” [WESA-FM, 10/28/15]
WITF: Everyone in Pennsylvania can now get life-saving overdose antidote.
“An antidote that can reverse the effects of a heroin overdose is now available to everyone in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine says a 2014 state law allows her to essentially write a standing prescription for naloxone for anyone in Pennsylvania. With a couple of sprays up a user’s nose, the drug quickly reverses an overdose on heroin or other opiates. Naloxone is already carried by police, fire and EMTs, and has saved hundreds of lives.” [WITF, 10/28/15]
KYW Newsradio: PA Health Officials Sign Order To Make Anti-Overdose Drug Available For Everyone.
“An executive order signed by Pennsylvania’s Physician General makes the lifesaving drug Naloxone readily available for anyone. Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine signed the order because she says opioids like heroin are taking lives and destroying families at a frantic pace. ‘The point is we have a problem and we in Pennsylvania are trying to do something about it,’ says Wolf.” [KYW Newsradio, 10/29/15]
WTAJ: VIDEO: Heroin antidote available for all PA residents.
“Pennsylvania’s physician general has signed a statewide standing order, basically a prescription for naloxone, for all state residents. Families and friends of people addicted to heroin, oxycontin, hydrocodone and similar drugs can now go to a pharmacy and buy the antidote. Governor Tom Wolf, 3 of his cabinet members, and officers of the Pennsylvania Medical Society attended Wednesday’s signing. Their goal is for more residents to have naloxone on hand, in case of an overdose.” [WTAJ, 10/28/15]
AP: Opioid overdose antidote now available to all Pennsylvanians.
“The state physician general has signed a standing order to make a prescription drug that can prevent overdose fatalities available to all Pennsylvanians. Gov. Tom Wolf announced the order Wednesday, saying heroin and prescription drug addiction is a public health crisis in Pennsylvania. A 2014 law expanded access to naloxone to include addicts’ friends and relatives. Wolf said in April he would make the life-saving drug broadly available.” [AP, 10/28/15]
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