California governor signs bill authorizing naloxone dispensing without an Rx

September 18, 2014

California Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed legislation that makes the state the sixth to allow access to the overdose antidote naloxone without a prescription.

California Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed legislation that makes the state the sixth to allow access to the overdose antidote naloxone without a prescription.

Effective January 1, 2015, pharmacists will be able to provide naloxone without a prescription from a doctor. The state pharmacy and medical boards will develop guidelines for pharmacists on dispensing naloxone. Previously, the drug was only available in California with a prescription or through designated distribution programs.

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“[The law] will have a real and immediate impact on reducing overdose deaths in California and will empower families throughout the state to access this life-saving drug," said Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), author of the bill.

The California Pharmacists Association co-sponsored the bill. California joins Washington, Rhode Island, New Mexico, New York, and Vermont in making naloxone available from a pharmacist without a prescription.