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Standing anti-opioid drug order nears final legislative OK

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The entire General Assembly appears on board to offering easier access to a prescription drug already known to have reversed more than 2,000 overdoses of heroin or other opium-based drugs in North Carolina.

The House agreed unanimously Monday night to legislation creating a statewide standing order at any pharmacy to prescribe naloxone (na-LOCKS’-own). The measure now returns to the Senate, which also approved unanimously a slightly different version last month and must agree to technical changes before the bill can head to Gov. Pat McCrory’s desk.

Supporters say the state health director’s order could help friends or family of a drug abuser save the person’s life. The injection or nasal-spray form is covered by Medicaid and many private insurance plans.

Only Maryland and Pennsylvania have similar standing orders.

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