After waiting two years – while over 600 people have died – the Maine legislature has finally empowered pharmacists to dispense the overdose antidote, naloxone. But the Board of Pharmacy rules deny access to this medication to people under 21!
Substance use disorder is a brain disease that does not discriminate by age. “Overdoses can strike at 18 or 19 or 29 or 54,” said Speaker of the Maine House Sara Gideon. “At every age, we should do everything in our power to save every life.”
With the opioid epidemic killing Mainers across the entire state – at a rate of one person a day – denying access to this antidote for victims 18-20 years old is unconscionable.
There is a comment period of 30 days before the new rule goes into effect.
You can save lives by contacting the Board of Pharmacy and urging them to hold a public hearing on this life or death issue.
Stand up for Mainers of all ages—send your comments by March 9.
Public comments can be submitted to:
Geraldine Betts, Program Administrator
35 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333
Related news articles:
- Bill Nemitz: LePage should put people who overdose before politics (Portland Press Herald)
- Maine Voices: LePage irresponsible to keep lifesaving drug naloxone from opioid users (Portland Press Herald)
- Rules easing access to overdose antidote finally approved after minimum age is raised (Portland Press Herald)
- LePage won’t act, so pharmacy board must implement naloxone rules (Bangor Daily News)
- Maine pharmacy board votes to raise age to buy overdose antidote (Bangor Daily News)