Under provisions of recently enacted legislation (House Bill 4), Ohio pharmacists can now dispense the overdose reversal drug naloxone without a prescription. HB 4 authorizes a pharmacist or pharmacy intern to dispense naloxone without a prescription in accordance with a physician-approved protocol.
- Permits a physician to authorize one or more individuals to personally furnish a supply of naloxone pursuant to a protocol
- Authorizes a pharmacist or pharmacy intern under the direct supervision of a pharmacist to dispense naloxone without a prescription in accordance with a physician-approved protocol
- Permits a local board of health, through a physician serving as the board’s health commissioner or medical director, to authorize the protocol for pharmacists and pharmacy interns working in that board of health’s jurisdiction.
Since 1999, drug overdoses have taken the lives of more than 13,000 Ohioans. These deaths are largely attributable to the abuse of opioids, a class of drug that includes both prescription pain relievers and heroin. When administered during an opioid overdose, naloxone blocks the effects of opioids on the brain and effectively reverses an overdose.
“Naloxone is a safe and effective tool in the fight against drug overdose” says State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy Executive Director Steven W. Schierholt. “Ohio pharmacists are encouraged to offer this important service in their communities.”
To assist with the implementation of this law, the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy (OSBP) has developed a which features a number of helpful resources including guidance documents, patient education materials, and a sample protocol.
The OSBP also adopted an emergency rule that specifies what should be included in a pharmacy’s dispensing protocol. The full text of the rule is available on the