New law to expand access to drug-overdose antidote

Credit: Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – A new South Carolina law aimed at reducing deaths from OxyContin, fentanyl and other opioids will allow people to obtain an anti-overdose drug in pharmacies without presenting a prescription.

State licensing boards for pharmacists and doctors have until Dec. 5 to approve rules for how naloxone can be dispensed, which will specify who can receive them and include requirements for documentation, storage and training.

The approved expansion comes a year after legislators allowed law enforcement officers and firefighters to carry and use the drug on someone they believe is overdosing.

State officials say the 300 officers statewide trained in using naloxone have administered it twice. Emergency medical responders used the drug about 4,600 times last year.

Authorities say naloxone is a safe antidote that’s easy to use.

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