MAY 3, 2017 - TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA - Today, following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declaring a national opioid epidemic, Governor Rick Scott signed Executive Order 17-146 directing a Public Health Emergency across the state. By signing the Emergency Order, it will allow the state to immediately draw down more than $27 million in federal grant funding from the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Opioid State Targeted Response Grant which was awarded to Florida on April 21 to provide prevention, treatment and recovery support services.
Simultaneously, Dr. Celeste Philip, Florida Surgeon General declared a public health emergency and issued a naloxone standing order for emergency responders.
The order authorizes pharmacists who maintain a current active license practicing in a pharmacy located in Florida that maintains a current active pharmacy permit to dispense naloxone to emergency responders for administration to persons exhibiting signs of opioid overdose. Emergency responders include law enforcement officers, firefighters, paramedics and emergency medical technicians.
Q. What kind of records should a pharmacist create?
A. Until further guidance is provided by the Department of Health the FPA recommends that pharmacists create a profile in your dispensing system for requests for naloxone.
Q. What law is this standing order coming from?
A.F.S. 381.887 entitled Emergency treatment of suspected opioid overdose enables pharmacists to dispense opioid antagonists to a patient or caregiver pursuant to a prescription or non patient specific standing order for autoinjection or intranasal application delivery systems.
Q. How does this law allow for dispensing to first responders?
A. The Governor's and Surgeon General's emergency order authorizes a pharmacist to dispense to first responders. Such orders are in effect for 60 days when issued unless extended.
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The emergency order issued by the Governor's office and the Florida Surgeon General for the moment does not address how a pharmacy will be compensated rather the order simply creates a mechanism for the transferring and expending f unappropriated surplus funds. For now the payment and provision of narcotic antagonist products to emergency responders is on a case by case discussion between first responder and providing pharmacy parties.