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Proposed Bill Would Allow Nurses to Dispense Opioid Overdose Reversal Medication in the ER

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The Senate Behavioral Health Subcommittee on Health & Long Term Care held a public hearing on HB 1761, which would allow nurses to dispense opioid overdose reversal medication in the ER.

The bill passed the House 94-0, and would have to pass the Senate in order to go to the Governor’s office for a chance to become law.

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HB 1761- 2021-22 Concerning ED opioid overdose reversal medication use 

Bill Information
Bill Information Page (link)

Concerning: Allowing nurses to dispense opioid overdose reversal medication in the
emergency department. Original Bill (pdf)
Sponsors: Schmick, Bateman, Bronoske, Cody, Dufault, Jacobsen, Macri, Pollet, Donaghy, Graham, Davis, Chambers
Effective Date: The bill contains an emergency clause and takes effect immediately.
Status:
In the House Jan 4 Prefiled for introduction.
Jan 10 First reading, referred to Health Care & Wellness.
           Public hearing in the House Committee on Health Care & Wellness at 1:30 PM.
Jan 19 Executive action taken in the House Committee on Health Care & Wellness at 8:00 AM.
Jan 28 Rules suspended. Placed on Third Reading. Third reading, passed; yeas, 94; nays, 0; absent, 0; excused, 4.

In the Senate

Feb 1 First reading, referred to Health & Long Term Care
Feb 15 Public hearing in the Senate Committee on Behavioral Health Subcommittee to Health & Long Term Care at 8:00 AM.

Feb 16 Scheduled for executive session in the Senate Committee on Behavioral Health Subcommittee to Health & Long Term Care at 6:00 PM in anticipation of other legislative action.

Committee Materials

Read the House Bill Analysis 2022
Read the House Bill Report
Read the Senate Bill Report (Orig.)

The bill analysis and bill report are prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

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Brief Summary of Bill

House

  • Adds registered and licensed practical nurses to the types of health care providers who must dispense or distribute opioid overdose reversal medication in compliance with requirements for hospital emergency departments

Senate

  • Allows a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse to dispense opioid overdose reversal medication in an emergency room instead of a practitioner to certain patients when required by law.

Opioid Overdose Reversal Medication

Opioid overdose reversal medication is a drug used to reverse an opioid overdose that binds to opioid receptors and blocks or inhibits the effects of opioids acting on those receptors. Common opioid overdose
reversal medications include Narcan, Naloxone, and Evzio.

Statewide Standing Order to Dispense Naloxone

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The Washington State Department of Health has a standing order to dispense Naloxone, or Narcan. When used properly, this medication can reverse an opioid overdose. Some examples of opioids provided by the Department of Health are heroin, methadone, Oxycontin®, Vicodin®, and fentanyl.

Any Washington resident or organization may use the standing order as a prescription for naloxone. The statewide order may be taken to a pharmacy to get Narcan, instead of going to a health care provider to get a prescription.

The Department of Health suggests the following people should carry naloxone (Narcan):

Updated: 02/15/2022, 3:10 p.m. – information on statewide order added.

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