Legislature votes to expand access to overdose medicine
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri lawmakers have passed a measure making it easier to buy medicine that treats overdoses from heroin and painkillers.
The House voted 147-2 Tuesday to allow pharmacists to sell naloxone (nah-LOX'-ohn), which temporarily counteracts the effects of opiates. The bill cleared the Senate in April with a 29-0 vote, and it now heads to the governor.
Naloxone currently requires a prescription to purchase. It can be injected or inhaled.
Bill sponsor Steve Lynch said getting the medicine into the hands of drug users' friends or family members could save their lives.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Missouri had 1,067 drug overdose deaths in 2014, and most came from opiates.