OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5487 (as amended by House "A")*

AN ACT PROVIDING IMMUNITY TO A PERSON WHO ADMINISTERS AN OPIOID ANTAGONIST TO ANOTHER PERSON EXPERIENCING AN OPIOID-RELATED DRUG OVERDOSE.

SUMMARY:

This bill authorizes anyone to administer an opioid antagonist (such as Narcan) to a person he or she believes, in good faith, is experiencing an opioid-related drug overdose. The bill gives civil and criminal immunity to such a person who acts with reasonable care in administering the opioid antagonist, unless he or she is a licensed health care professional acting in the ordinary course of employment.

Existing law allows licensed health care practitioners authorized to prescribe an opioid antagonist, if acting with reasonable care, to prescribe, dispense, or administer it to treat or prevent a drug overdose without being civilly or criminally liable for the action or for its subsequent use. Thus, these practitioners can prescribe opioid antagonists to people who are not their patients to assist a person experiencing a drug overdose.

By law, an “opioid antagonist” is naloxone hydrochloride (Narcan) or any other similarly acting and equally safe drug that the Food and Drug Administration has approved for treating a drug overdose.

*House Amendment “A” expands the immunity provided by the original bill (File 444) to cover licensed health care professionals acting outside the course of employment.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2014

COMMITTEE ACTION

Judiciary Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

35

Nay

0

(03/24/2014)