Provides for the use of opioid antagonists.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to opioid overdose prevention
Allows health care professionals to prescribe or dispense an opioid antagonist by a non-patient specific order and provides protections against criminal and civil liability as well as professional disciplinary action resulting from such prescribing.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section one amends the Public Health Law § 3390 to protect a health care professional who prescribes or dispenses an opioid antagonist, in good faith and with reasonable care, from any criminal or civil liability or any professional disciplinary action that could result from dispensing, prescribing, or administrating of an opioid antagonist. This section also expands a health care professional's authority to prescribe, dispense, and distribute an opioid antagonist directly or by non-patient specific order to a person at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose or to a family member, friend, or other person in a position to assist a person at risk of experiencing an opioid- related overdose. Lastly, this section allows a person or organization acting under a non-patient specific order to store and dispense an opioid antagonist without being subject to provisions of title eight of the Education Law except provisions regarding storage of drugs
Section two provides that the act shall take effect immediately.
New York State, like the nation, is in the midst of a severe prescription drug crisis. Prescriptions for opioids, particularly oxycodone and hydrocodone have skyrocketed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that every 19 minutes, one person dies from an accidental overdose or suicide as a result of prescription drug abuse. In 2012, the legislature enacted the seminal I-STOP legislation to track controlled substance prescribing, prevent doctor shopping and weed out unscrupulous doctors. One unfortunate side effect of successfully restricting street access to these controlled substances, is that addicts are turning to other drugs, such as heroin. Heroin has now become the cheaper alternative to opioids. On Long Island it is estimated that heroin addiction has increased fourfold since 2011.
As detailed in the Senate Health Committee's white paper The Prescription Drug Crisis in New York. A Comprehensive Approach, there is a need to look at the complete spectrum of drug abuse in order to address this crisis. While the state has made great advances, much more is needed. One of topics raised at the roundtables held by the Health Committee in 2011 and 2012, was access to Naloxone (Narcan). Naloxone, sometimes referred to as the drug-overdose antidote, counteracts the life threatening depression of the central nervous system and respiratory system caused by an opioid or heroin overdose.
If timely administered, Naloxone can prevent overdose deaths. The Department of Health recommends administering Naloxone directly to an individual overdosing on an opioid after calling 911 and checking for breathing.
In 2005, the state authorized non-medical persons to administer Naloxone to an individual in order to prevent an opioid or heroin overdose from becoming fatal. In 2011, the state adopted good samaritan protections for witnesses and victims of overdoses. By removing the threat of prosecution, this measure encourages witnesses of an overdose to call 911 before it becomes deadly.
Due to the increase of opioid abuse, expanded access to Naloxone has become necessary priority to save lives. In Nassau County, EMTs administer Naloxone through their police department's ambulance services and in Suffolk County the state provided first responders with Naloxone. Expanding upon the success of existing programs, more lives could be saved if Naloxone was available to addicts, their families and other people likely to be in a position to assist a person at risk of an opioid related overdose. Currently, parents and family members of addicts are being turned away from Naloxone training programs or are attending the programs and not receiving Naloxone due to the shortage of prescribers participating in such programs. Under this legislation one prescriber would be able to issue a non-patient specific order to numerous programs, allowing for increased access. This legislation will enable the person who is likely to discover an overdose victim the ability to save their life, a life that could otherwise be lost if the victim has to wait for the EMT to arrive.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6477 IN SENATE January 28, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sen. HANNON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Health AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to opioid overdose prevention THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 3309 of the public health law, as added by chapter 413 of the laws of 2005, is amended to read as follows: S 3309. Opioid overdose prevention. 1. The commissioner is authorized to establish standards for approval of any opioid overdose prevention program which may include, but not be limited to, standards for program directors, appropriate clinical oversight, training, record keeping and reporting. 2. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provisions of section sixty-five hundred twelve of the education law or any other law, the purchase, acquisition, possession or use of an opioid antagonist pursuant to this section shall not constitute the unlawful practice of a profession or other violation under title eight of the education law or this article. 3. A HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL WHO, ACTING IN GOOD FAITH AND WITH REASONABLE CARE, PRESCRIBES OR DISPENSES AN OPIOID ANTAGONIST SHALL NOT BE SUBJECT TO ANY CRIMINAL OR CIVIL LIABILITY OR ANY PROFESSIONAL DISCI- PLINARY ACTION FOR (A) SUCH PRESCRIBING OR DISPENSING, AND (B) ANY OUTCOMES RESULTING FROM THE EVENTUAL ADMINISTRATION OF THE OPIOID ANTAG- ONIST. 4. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER LAW OR REGULATION, A HEALTH CARE PROFES- SIONAL OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED TO PRESCRIBE AN OPIOID ANTAGONIST MAY, DIRECTLY OR BY NON-PATIENT SPECIFIC ORDER, PRESCRIBE, DISPENSE, AND DISTRIBUTE AN OPIOID ANTAGONIST TO A PERSON AT RISK OF EXPERIENCING AN OPIOID-RELATED OVERDOSE OR TO A FAMILY MEMBER, FRIEND, OR OTHER PERSON IN A POSITION TO ASSIST A PERSON AT RISK OF EXPERIENCING AN OPIOID-RE- LATED OVERDOSE. ANY SUCH PRESCRIPTION SHALL BE REGARDED AS BEING ISSUED FOR A LEGITIMATE MEDICAL PURPOSE IN THE USUAL COURSE OF PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD13628-01-4 S. 6477 2
5. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER LAW OR REGULATION, A PERSON OR ORGANIZA- TION ACTING UNDER A NON-PATIENT SPECIFIC ORDER ISSUED BY A HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL WHO IS OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED TO PRESCRIBE AN OPIOID ANTAG- ONIST MAY STORE AND DISPENSE AN OPIOID ANTAGONIST WITHOUT BEING SUBJECT TO PROVISIONS OF TITLE EIGHT OF THE EDUCATION LAW EXCEPT THOSE PROVISIONS REGARDING STORAGE OF DRUGS. 6. Use of an opioid antagonist pursuant to this section shall be considered first aid or emergency treatment for the purpose of any stat- ute relating to liability.
[4.]7. The commissioner shall publish findings on statewide opioid overdose data that reviews overdose death rates and other information to ascertain changes in the cause and rates of fatal opioid overdoses. The report may be part of existing state mortality reports issued by the department, and shall be submitted annually for three years and as deemed necessary by the commissioner thereafter, to the governor, the temporary president of the senate and the speaker of the assembly. The report shall include, at a minimum, the following information: (a) information on opioid overdose deaths, including age, gender, ethnicity, and geographic location; (b) data on emergency room utilization for the treatment of opioid overdose; (c) data on utilization of pre-hospital services; (d) suggested improvements in data collection. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.