A drug overdose prevention advocate contacted the Network with a question about the overdose prevention trainings their organization conducts in Florida. The requestor wanted to know if, at the end of the training session, they could dispense naloxone under a recently passed state law that permits naloxone to be prescribed via standing order.
Naloxone, a prescription medication, reverses opioid overdose if given in time. It functions by blocking the opioid receptors in the brain and reversing depression of the central nervous system and respiratory system.
Some states have passed laws that permit naloxone to be dispensed via standing orders, which allow prescribers such as a doctors to issue naloxone prescriptions that apply to a class of people (such as people at risk of overdose, family members, police, and those close to people at risk of overdose) instead of a single, named individual. Florida recently joined more than 30 other states in permitting naloxone to be prescribed via standing order.
After researching the Florida statutes, the Network found that, unlike laws in approximately a dozen states, the Florida statute does not permit laypeople like employees or volunteers of a community based organization to dispense naloxone under a standing order. Therefore, a medical professional authorized to dispense medications must still dispense naloxone, severely limiting the effect of the standing order provision.
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