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Opioid bill signed into law

COLUMBUS–State Rep. Tim Ginter (R-Salem) Wednesday announced House Bill 341combating the opioid crisis has been signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine.

Ginter, as the primary sponsor of the bill, has pushed for this legislation. The bill is a multifaceted and continued effort in combating the opioid crisis throughout the state.

“I am very thankful that all parties involved worked diligently and effectively to get this important bill signed into law,” Ginter said in a news release. “Especially due to the ramifications of the pandemic, we must continue to push to fight the opioid epidemic in preventing accidental overdoses in our state — this legislation is a hopeful step forward in accomplishing that goal.”

Ginter spoke to the relevance of the bill on the House floor earlier this month when it passed within the chamber. He cited that a report from the Ohio Department of Health shows that between the years 2017-2019, 11,225 Ohioans died from an unintentional drug overdose.

In order to fight against this deadly trend, specifically, the legislation will:

–Authorize a pharmacist to administer by injection any long-acting or extended-release addiction treatment drug prescribed by a physician, instead of limiting the pharmacist’s authority to the administration of opioid antagonists as under current law;

–Exempt from the State Board of Pharmacy’s office-based opioid treatment licensure facilities in which addiction treatment drugs are administered only on-site and directly by prescribers, rather than off-site by patients;

–Provide that a patient whose addiction treatment drugs are administered on-site directly by a prescriber is not to be counted when determining whether a facility offering office-based opioid treatment is required to be licensed by the Board; and

–Authorize the State Board of Pharmacy to provide information from its Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System (OARRS) to a prescriber or pharmacist participating in a prescription monitoring program operated by a federal agency if certain conditions are met.

Other amendments included within the legislation includes increasing access to naloxone for those suffering from opioid-use disorder, increasing naloxone education for Ohio pharmacists, and modifying language to prevent an individual from possessing hashish with a THC level over 0.3 percent with a few exceptions.

The law will take effect after 90 days.

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