Bill to ease access to overdose drug goes to McCrory’s desk

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Gov. Pat McCrory will now have the ability to approve widespread access to a prescription drug already known to have reversed more than 2,000 overdoses of heroin or other opium-based drugs in North Carolina.

The Senate passed a House version of the bill Wednesday that would create a statewide standing order at any pharmacy to prescribe naloxone. Supporters say the state health director’s order could help friends or family save a drug abuser’s life. The injection or nasal-spray is covered by Medicaid and many private insurance plans.

The bill is headed to McCrory’s desk where he will have 10 days to take action before it becomes law. McCrory has named heroin addiction a top public safety issue in North Carolina. Only Maryland and Pennsylvania have similar standing orders.

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