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January 11, 2017
U.S. House passes emergency medications bill
By EMS1 Staff
WASHINGTON — The U.S. House passed a bill this week that would allow EMS providers to administer controlled substances to patients under their care.
The bill now moves on to the Senate.
The Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medications Act was reintroduced to the House last week. The act is an amendment to the Controlled Substances Act.
The bill would allow EMS professionals to administer controlled substances to patients with standing orders from a medical director. The bill would allow the Drug Enforcement Agency to authorize EMS agencies to dispense the drugs. Currently, medical directors and individuals must meet DEA registration requirements.
“This legislation ensures that first responders in North Carolina and throughout the country are able to continue to provide lifesaving medications to people experiencing health emergencies,” Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., said in a statement. “I urge the U.S. Senate to swiftly pass and President Obama to sign this important legislation so that more lives can be saved.”
In 2014, the DEA announced that they would be creating DEA regulations to simplify EMS administration of controlled substances. However, the DEA later announced that the Controlled Substances Act only allowed for patient-specific orders for controlled substances.
According to reports, “in further discussion, it was [the DEA] position that the language of the statute did not give them any leeway for interpretation and that the regulations would very specifically state that protocol-driven usage of controlled substances is not allowed."