On June 1, Dr. Howard Haft, DHMH Deputy Secretary for Public Health Services, issued a new statewide standing order allowing Maryland-licensed pharmacists to dispense naloxone to anyone who may be at risk for opioid overdose or in a position to assist someone believed to be experiencing opioid overdose. A person-specific paper or electronic prescription is no longer required.
The new statewide standing order replaces Dr. Haft’s original order issued December 14, 2015, which authorized pharmacists to dispense naloxone to individuals who had been trained and certified under the Maryland Overdose Response Program (ORP). On May 25, 2017, Governor Hogan signed into law the Heroin and Opioid Prevention Effort (HOPE) and Treatment Act of 2017, which simplifies the process for obtaining naloxone from a pharmacy. As authorized by this law, the new standing order allows pharmacists to dispense naloxone to anyone regardless of whether the person has previously been certified under ORP or received any training in opioid overdose response.
NOTE: The statewide standing order acts only as a prescription for naloxone and does not cover payment to a pharmacy for the medication or supplies needed for its use.