April 21, 2015
Area(s) of Interest: Advocacy Scope of Practice
The California State Board of Pharmacy has approved emergency regulations allowing pharmacists to furnish naloxone hydrochloride without a prescription. The regulations went into effect on April 10, 2015.
Naloxone is a medication used to counter the effects of opioid overdose by reversing central nervous system and respiratory system depression and hypotension. In 2014, AB 1535 (Bloom) authorized the furnishing of naloxone hydrochloride by pharmacists and required the Board of Pharmacy to develop these regulations and the Medical Board of California to approve them.
Under the new regulations, naloxone hydrochloride is available by request or at the suggestion of a pharmacist. The regulations also incorporate many of the provisions that the California Medical Association (CMA) advocated for during the legislative and regulatory process by requiring that pharmacists dispensing naloxone complete an approved training program, provide training and informational resources to recipients, and ensuring that consultations to provide training on opioid prevention, recognition and administration of naloxone cannot waived by the recipient. Finally, the regulations require the pharmacist to notify the patient’s primary care provider if the patient provides consent.
For more information, see On-Call document #3009 "Pharmacists.” On-Call documents are free to members in the CMA Resource Library. Nonmembers can purchase On-Call documents for $2 per page.
For further information, click here to view the protocol for furnishing naloxone hydrochloride; click here to view the naloxone and opioid safety fact sheet; and click here to view AB 1535 (Bloom).