Bloom Introduces Bill Expanding Pharmacy Access To Overdose Reversal Drug

Wednesday, 22 Jan 2014, 9:09:00 AM

Mirror Staff

Assemblymember Richard Bloom represents Santa Monica in the state's 50th District.
Courtesy Image
Assemblymember Richard Bloom represents Santa Monica in the state's 50th District.

In an effort to combat California’s

rising rate of drug overdose fatalities, Assemblymember Richard Bloom

(D-Santa Monica) has introduced AB 1535, to greatly expand access to the

opiate overdose reversal medicine naloxone

at pharmacies throughout the state.

The bill would permit pharmacists to furnish the

lifesaving drug to family members; people who may be in contact with a

person at risk of an opiate overdose, or to the patient requesting it,

pursuant to guidelines to be developed by the

state’s boards of pharmacy and medicine.

"California’s overdose crisis remains one of the

state’s most serious health problems," Bloom said.

“Pharmacists are highly trained, highly trusted healthcare

professionals. This bill makes it easier for them to help prevent

a fatal drug overdose.”

Meghan Ralston, harm reduction manager for the Drug Policy

Alliance, said making naloxone more widely available would save lives.

“When parents and spouses can quickly and securely purchase

the antidote to an opiate overdose at their neighborhood

pharmacy, everyone benefits,” Ralston said.

In 2009, more than 3,500 Californians died unnecessarily from an accidental drug overdose.

Research published by the US Centers for Disease

Control and other federal health agencies shows that laypersons with

naloxone can immediately reverse a potentially fatal overdose in

addition to calling paramedics.

Naloxone was approved for use in the 1971 and has

been used in emergency rooms and ambulances for decades. It is

non-narcotic, non-abusable and works within minutes to restore breathing

in people overdosing on opiate drugs such oxycodone,

hydrocodone and heroin. 

Bloom represents California’s 50th Assembly District,

which comprises the communities of Agoura Hills, Bel Air, Beverly Hills,

Brentwood, Hollywood, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Topanga,

West Hollywood, and West

Los Angeles.

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