Yesterday, State Representative Gene DiGirolamo sent out a memo seeking co-sponsors for planned legislation that would fund Narcan for local police, EMS, and others. We urge you to contact your Representative and ask them to support the important work of preventing overdose deaths and combating opiate abuse in Pennsylvania.
This is an issue that affects us all, as a workplace safety issue for first responders, and also all too often affecting co-workers, family members or friends. On average, 7 Pennsylvanians die every day from preventable overdoses, surpassing car accident deaths in the Commonwealth, and many of these victims became addicted as a result of taking doctor-prescribed medication following surgery or injury.
Last year, the legislature enacted two critical laws to address the problem. The Prescription Drug Monitoring law is intended to cut down on access to unneeded prescription opiates. A second law made the life-saving drug, Narcan available to our communities by providing training and liability protections for first responders and others.
Prescription opiates are driving both the overdose death rate and the growing heroin problem in the state. That’s why Rep. DiGirolamo says it’s time for the manufacturers and marketers of prescription opioids to step up. His proposed legislation will impose a 10% impact fee on the sales of opioids in the state of Pennsylvania.
The impact fee will go to counties to fund Narcan for local police, EMS and others. It will also support drug and alcohol counseling in county jails, the Emergency Addiction Treatment Fund in the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, and support and maintain the Prescription Drug Monitoring program.