69.41.085  <<  69.41.095 >>   69.41.100

RCW 69.41.095

Opioid overdose medication.

(1)(a) A practitioner may prescribe, dispense, distribute, and deliver an opioid overdose medication: (i) Directly to a person at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose; or (ii) by collaborative drug therapy agreement, standing order, or protocol to a first responder, family member, or other person or entity in a position to assist a person at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose. Any such prescription or protocol order is issued for a legitimate medical purpose in the usual course of professional practice.
(b) At the time of prescribing, dispensing, distributing, or delivering the opioid overdose medication, the practitioner shall inform the recipient that as soon as possible after administration of the opioid overdose medication, the person at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose should be transported to a hospital or a first responder should be summoned.
(2) A pharmacist may dispense an opioid overdose medication pursuant to a prescription issued in accordance with this section and may administer an opioid overdose medication to a person at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose. At the time of dispensing an opioid overdose medication, a pharmacist shall provide written instructions on the proper response to an opioid-related overdose, including instructions for seeking immediate medical attention. The instructions to seek immediate medication attention must be conspicuously displayed.
(3) Any person or entity may lawfully possess, store, deliver, distribute, or administer an opioid overdose medication pursuant to a prescription or order issued by a practitioner in accordance with this section.
(4) The following individuals, if acting in good faith and with reasonable care, are not subject to criminal or civil liability or disciplinary action under chapter 18.130 RCW for any actions authorized by this section or the outcomes of any actions authorized by this section:
(a) A practitioner who prescribes, dispenses, distributes, or delivers an opioid overdose medication pursuant to subsection (1) of this section;
(b) A pharmacist who dispenses an opioid overdose medication pursuant to subsection (2) of this section;
(c) A person who possesses, stores, distributes, or administers an opioid overdose medication pursuant to subsection (3) of this section.
(5) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
(a) "First responder" means: (i) A career or volunteer firefighter, law enforcement officer, paramedic as defined in RCW 18.71.200, or first responder or emergency medical technician as defined in RCW 18.73.030; and (ii) an entity that employs or supervises an individual listed in (a)(i) of this subsection, including a volunteer fire department.
(b) "Opioid overdose medication" means any drug used to reverse an opioid overdose that binds to opioid receptors and blocks or inhibits the effects of opioids acting on those receptors. It does not include intentional administration via the intravenous route.
(c) "Opioid-related overdose" means a condition including, but not limited to, extreme physical illness, decreased level of consciousness, respiratory depression, coma, or death that: (i) Results from the consumption or use of an opioid or another substance with which an opioid was combined; or (ii) a lay person would reasonably believe to be an opioid-related overdose requiring medical assistance.
(d) "Practitioner" means a health care practitioner who is authorized under RCW 69.41.030 to prescribe legend drugs.
(e) "Standing order" or "protocol" means written or electronically recorded instructions, prepared by a prescriber, for distribution and administration of a drug by designated and trained staff or volunteers of an organization or entity, as well as other actions and interventions to be used upon the occurrence of clearly defined clinical events in order to improve patients' timely access to treatment.
NOTES:
Intent2015 c 205: "(1) The legislature intends to reduce the number of lives lost to drug overdoses by encouraging the prescription, dispensing, and administration of opioid overdose medications.
(2) Overdoses of opioids, such as heroin and prescription painkillers, cause brain injury and death by slowing and eventually stopping a person's breathing. Since 2012, drug poisoning deaths in the United States have risen six percent, and deaths involving heroin have increased a staggering thirty-nine percent. In Washington state, the annual number of deaths involving heroin or prescription opiates increased from two hundred fifty-eight in 1995 to six hundred fifty-one in 2013. Over this period, a total of nine thousand four hundred thirty-nine people died from opioid-related drug overdoses. Opioid-related drug overdoses are a statewide phenomenon.
(3) When administered to a person experiencing an opioid-related drug overdose, an opioid overdose medication can save the person's life by restoring respiration. Increased access to opioid overdose medications reduced the time between when a victim is discovered and when he or she receives lifesaving assistance. Between 1996 and 2010, lay people across the country reversed over ten thousand overdoses.
(4) The legislature intends to increase access to opioid overdose medications by permitting health care practitioners to administer, prescribe, and dispense, directly or by collaborative drug therapy agreement or standing order, opioid overdose medication to any person who may be present at an overdose - law enforcement, emergency medical technicians, family members, or service providers - and to permit those individuals to possess and administer opioid overdose medications prescribed by an authorized health care provider." [ 2015 c 205 § 1.]
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