Standing Order Allows Pharmacists to Prescribe Naloxone

The Texas Pharmacy Association (TPA) implemented an expansive physician-authorized "standing order" regarding the dispensing of naloxone/narcan, a fast-acting antidote that can be administered to someone who is overdosing on opioids. Effective Aug. 1, the standing order will allow qualified Texas pharmacists to dispense naloxone to patients and/or family members or friends of patients who have a medical need.  

Pharmacists will be authorized to act under the standing order only after they have completed a one-hour course accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education and in coordination with TPA.

During the 2015 session of the Texas Legislature, TMA strongly supported passage of Senate Bill 1462 by Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas). SB 1462 gives physicians authority to prescribe the lifesaving opioid antagonist naloxone not only to patients but also to family members or friends of those who may be at risk of an overdose. The law also allows a person or organization acting under a standing order to distribute an opioid antagonist and allows pharmacies to dispense the drug.

"The new law will save lives in Texas as it has done in other states," said Dallas anesthesiologist and pain medicine specialist C.M. Schade, MD. "When you have an overdose situation, timing is critical. The naloxone needs to be in the hands of first responders, family members, and friends to rescue the patient."

The new law provides liability protection for prescribers who, acting in good faith with reasonable care, prescribe an opioid antagonist.

The American Medical Association Task Force to Reduce Opioid Abuse updated the AMA website to include tools and resources to help physicians in co-prescribing naloxone to patients at risk for overdose.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has guidance on prescribing opioids for chronic pain. Visit Prescribe to Prevent to access guidance for clinicians, information on naloxone products, and links to training for consumers.

For more information, read "A True Antidote" in the October 2015 issue of Texas Medicine.

Action, July 1, 2016

Last Updated On

October 11, 2016

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