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Governor McCrory Signs Bill To Increase Availability Of Naloxone

Jennifer Lang

Governor Pat McCrory signed a bill into law Monday to address one aspect of the opioid epidemic. The bipartisan legislation makes an overdose reversal drug much easier to get.

Since the early 2000s, opioid-related deaths have soared in North Carolina and across the country. That includes overdoses from prescription pain relievers and heroine.

In 2013, North Carolina legalized a drug called naloxone that reverses overdoses. The goal is to save lives so that people can then get treatment. But naloxone's distribution has been piecemeal through some doctors and organizations.

The bill Governor McCrory signed aims to change that. It creates a standing order for any pharmacy in the state to prescribe naloxone to anyone who says they're at risk of overdosing or who knows someone at risk. It passed unanimously in the House and Senate, and two other states have passed the same kind of order.   

The cost of the drug will vary by pharmacy and type of insurance. State health officials say people on Medicaid could get it for as little as $3, while the uninsured may pay around $125.