Did You Know?: Illinois expanded pharmacist access to opioid antagonist shot
In September 2015, Illinois passed a new law that expanded the access and use of the opioid antagonist Naloxone, which can be used to reduce overdoses of narcotic drugs. Naloxone rapidly reverses an opioid overdose and can quickly restore normal respiration in someone whose breathing has stopped or slowed from an overdose. The life-saving drug has been deployed throughout the country to help combat the opioid epidemic.
Pharmacists who complete online Naloxone administration training can then dispense Naloxone and educate patients about using the antagonist. These pharmacists must demonstrate knowledge about opioid overdose prevention, opioid misuse reduction, and the safe use of opioids for chronic pain management.
Pharmacists certified through the Illinois State Opioid Antagonist Training Program can dispense Naloxone without a prescription to trained first responders, school nurses, or any individuals at risk of overdose.
(1) Illinois Dept. of Financial & Professional Regulation, New Training Allows Pharmacists to Dispense Heroin Overdose Antidote (Apr. 4, 2016).
(2) Illinois Dept. of Public Health, Illinois Dept. of Financial & Professional Regulation, Illinois Dept. of Human Services, Naloxone Standardized Procedures Illinois Departments of DFPR, DPH & DHS Opioid Antagonist Initiative.
(3) NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse, Opioid Overdose Reversal with Naloxone (Sept. 2016).
About the author
Erin K. Jackson is Jackson LLP’s Managing Partner. She is responsible for all aspects of firm management, is a sought-after speaker for healthcare conferences, and is a published author. She is specifically focused upon the intersection of the patient experience in healthcare with the legal and ethical responsibilities of providers.
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