On Wednesday, October 28, 2015, Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine signed “Standing Order DOH -002-2015, Naloxone Prescription for Overdose”. Naloxone is a prescription medication that reverses the effects of a prescription opioid medication or heroin overdose. The standing order is intended to ensure that residents of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania who are at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose, or who are family members, friends or others in a position to assist a person at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose, are able to obtain this life-saving medication.
In the event a prescription for Naloxone cannot be obtained from the individual’s regular health care provider, the standing order may be used as a prescription to obtain Naloxone at a pharmacy – by the person at risk of overdose or for anyone who might use it on someone else (third party). In many cases, the standing order will be on file at local pharmacies. In those instances where it is not, Pennsylvanians can download a copy of the standing order from the Department of Health or the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs’ websites (health.pa.gov OR ddap.pa.gov) to take with them to a pharmacy that dispenses the medication.
Prior to administering Naloxone, persons are strongly advised to complete one of the online training programs approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Health in consultation with the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, found at:
www.getnaloxonenow.org/online_training.html or at www.pavtn.net/act-139-training and obtain a certificate and to discuss the use of the medication with the pharmacist. Act 139 0f 2014 does not require training to obtain the medication; however, training and the prompt seeking of medical assistance/911 is necessary in order to ensure that persons are protected from legal liability as provided through the statute.
NOTE: The standing order is not intended to be used by organizations who employ or contract with medical staff who are authorized to write prescriptions.