- Associated Press - Monday, November 28, 2016

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A recent order from Iowa public health officials will allow residents to have easier access to an opioid reversal drug.

Gov. Terry Branstad announced Monday that pharmacists can now dispense the drug Naloxone to individuals at risk of an opioid overdose who demonstrate a need for it. The drug was previously obtained through a prescription from a doctor or other health care professional.

Others who can help at-risk-people, including family and first responders, will also have easier access to the drug.

The effort is in response to what Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds calls an “opioid epidemic.”

Iowa’s state pharmacy board approved administrative rules on the issue in November and it was formalized through a standing order. It follows legislation approved this year.

Nearly 30 other states have expanded access to Naloxone, which temporarily blocks the effects of an opioid overdose.

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