State Representatives Robert Sprague (R-Findlay) and Jeff Rezabek (R-Clayton) today held a press conference to applaud the House passage of House Bill 4, legislation that takes further strides in curtailing the opiate epidemic in Ohio. Reps. Rezabek and Sprague championed the legislation through the House.
House Bill 4 continues work in the previous General Assembly to expand access to naloxone, which has the capability of reversing an opioid-induced drug overdose.
“After passing House Bill 170 in the 130th General Assembly, House Bill 4 will continue to increase access to this life-saving medication,” said Representative Sprague. “This bill is one piece of many state initiatives to combat the opioid addiction epidemic in the State of Ohio.”
“I am extremely pleased with the result of today’s vote. Simply put, this bill will save lives,” Rezabek said. “I want to again thank Representative Sprague and others for their work on House Bill 4. I look forward to working on future legislation to continue the fight against the drug epidemic in our state.”
The most recent complete data shows that there were 411 unintentional overdose deaths in 2000 and 1,914 deaths in 2012, according to the Ohio Department of Health. This bill works to decrease drug overdose deaths in Ohio by allowing a physician to issue a protocol that authorizes others to furnish naloxone to an individual who is at risk of overdosing or to an individual who might be able to assist another person during an opioid-induced overdose. Under current law, prescribers have to be present when naloxone is furnished. If passed into law, House Bill 4 will increase access by removing this requirement. Furthermore, local health departments will be able to sell naloxone at wholesale prices to law enforcement agencies.
House Bill 4 passed with unanimous support on the House floor and it will now head to the Senate for further consideration.
The press conference can also be seen at the following link: http://www.ohiochannel.org/MediaLibrary/Media.aspx?fileId=145992