Gov. Jay Nixon signed House Bill 1568 on June 21 to expand access to naloxone hydrochloride, a non-addictive opioid antagonist that blocks the effects of an opioid overdose. Naloxone has been approved by the FDA and can be administered by injection or via nasal spray. When administered in time, a dose of naloxone can reverse an overdose of heroin or legally prescribed opioid pain medication and prevent the loss of life.

“Increasing access to naloxone is a proven, safe and highly-effective way to prevent opioid overdose deaths,” said Gov. Nixon. “While I am disappointed that the legislature failed to pass a prescription drug monitoring program, expanding access to naloxone is an important step forward that will save lives.”

Under HB 1568, pharmacists operating under a physician’s protocol will be able sell and dispense the drug, and organizations will be able to store naloxone without obtaining a pharmacy or drug distributor’s license. The legislation legalizes the possession of naloxone without a prescription and removes civil, criminal and professional liability for good faith use.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more people died from drug overdoses in 2014 than in any year on record. The majority of drug overdose deaths (more than six out of 10) involve an opioid.

In 2014, Gov. Nixon signed legislation allowing first responders to obtain and administer naloxone.

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