JUNEAU – The Alaska Senate Wednesday unanimously passed a bill extending access to naloxone, a life-saving opioid overdose reversal drug.
Senate Bill 70 allows the chief medical officer of the Department of Health and Social Services to continue issuing a statewide standing order for the prescription of naloxone.
The chief medical officer currently has this authority; however, this authorization is set to sunset on June 31st, 2021. By removing the sunset date, local and regional overdose response programs, first responders, the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, and the public will continue to have the ability to directly distribute and access the lifesaving drug.
“This legislation benefits Alaska by saving lives,” said Senator David Wilson, R-Wasilla, chairman of the Senate Health & Social Services Committee and the bill’s sponsor. “This translates to a direct costs savings to emergency services. It gives people who may overdose a greater chance of living and gives them an opportunity to get into treatment. It also goes without saying that this legislation benefits the many friends and family members of people who would die of an overdose without this lifesaving medication.”
Naloxone is not a controlled substance and has no potential for abuse.
SB 70 passed the Senate by a vote of 18-0 and is now on its way to the Alaska House of Representatives for consideration.