COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — State Rep. Tim Ginter (R-Salem) announces the Ohio House has passed House Bill 341, which is a multifaceted and continued effort in combating the opioid crisis throughout the state. Ginter spoke to the relevance of the bill on the House floor.
“These fatalities come from each of our districts and it is our responsibility as legislators to work together to fight this epidemic,” said Ginter. “I believe the House and Senate have introduced and passed life-saving legislation that has made great strides in combating the opioid problem in Ohio. It is my hope that House Bill 341 will help further our efforts in preventing accidental overdoses in our state.”
Ginter 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.
On Tuesday, the House concurred on additional Senate amendments to the legislation. Those amendments included 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 legislation moved forward with widespread bipartisan support and now heads to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.