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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: December 1, 2022 10:14 AM
From: Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill
To: All Senate members
Subject: Permit EMS Providers to Leave a Dose of Naloxone with a Caregiver of a Patient who Overdosed
In the near future, I will reintroduce Senate Bill 223 of last session that will amend the Pennsylvania Pharmacy Act to permanently permit Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers to leave a dose package of life-saving naloxone with the on-scene caregiver of a patient who overdosed on opioids and was revived by the EMS, providing a standing prescription has been issued by the Department of Health. 
In far too many cases when a drug abuser overdoses on opioids and is revived by EMS, the person refuses transport to a medical treatment center. Shortly after the EMS departs, the revived person desperately seeks out and obtains opioids, putting the person at higher risk for a subsequent overdose. To prevent the death of the person during this critical time period, it may be prudent to leave a dose package of naloxone with a family member or friend who is caring for the drug abuser. 
The governor issued a statewide disaster declaration for a public health emergency in January 2018 and amended a current Standing Order by the Physician General to permit the leaving of naloxone at the scene of treatment. However, the declaration is only temporary. My legislation codifies this capability into law, adds specific protections for EMS providers, and addresses EMS provider billing and recording requirements. 
Key components of this legislation include a provision requiring a standing order by the Department of Health allowing for the purchase of naloxone by the public, and a determination by the EMS provider at the scene that it is appropriate to dispense a dose-package of naloxone to a family member, friend, or another person who is in a position to assist. The EMS provider is under no obligation to leave a package of naloxone behind with a family member or friend. Further, the EMS provider shall not incur any liability for not stocking the naloxone left behind or not dispensing the naloxone to a family member, friend, or other individual. 
Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation which will ensure our EMS providers will continue to have the option to leave behind this life-saving drug with a caregiver. 
Previous co-sponsors of the legislation include Senators J. Ward, Kearney, Tartaglione, Cappelletti, Yaw, Haywood, Scavello, and Brewster.  

Introduced as SB81