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New order eases requirements to get opioid antidote

Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore City Health Commissioner, demonstrates administering a dose of the opioid overdose antidote naloxone on her assistant, Katherine Warren. (The Daily Record / Heather Cobun)

Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore City Health Commissioner, demonstrates administering a dose of the opioid overdose antidote naloxone on her assistant, Katherine Warren.
 (The Daily Record / Heather Cobun)

Baltimore’s health commissioner says she will issue an order that will also pharmacists to give an antidote to opioids without a doctor’s prescription.

Dr. Leana Wen said she will issue the standing order on Thursday the day a new law takes effect in Maryland that lets doctors at health departments write a blanket prescription that covers anyone who is trained on how to administer the drug.

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Previously, patients would have to make an appointment to get a prescription from a doctor for Naloxone, which prevents heroin overdoses, when they were trained how to use it. Wen says last year, 303 people in Baltimore died from overdoses.

Wen says with her standing order, a person will be able to show a pharmacist a card indicating they had receive certified training.