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AB-635 Drug overdose treatment: liability.(2013-2014)

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AB635:v94#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 635
CHAPTER 707

An act to amend Section 1714.22 of the Civil Code, relating to drug overdose treatment.

[ Approved by Governor  October 10, 2013. Filed with Secretary of State  October 10, 2013. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 635, Ammiano. Drug overdose treatment: liability.
Existing law authorizes a physician and surgeon to prescribe, dispense, or administer prescription drugs, including prescription-controlled substances, to an addict under his or her treatment, as specified. Existing law prohibits, except in the regular practice of his or her profession, any person from knowingly prescribing, administering, dispensing, or furnishing a controlled substance to or for any person who is not under his or her treatment for a pathology or condition other than an addiction to a controlled substance, except as specified.
Existing law authorizes, until January 1, 2016, and only in specified counties, a licensed health care provider, who is already permitted pursuant to existing law to prescribe an opioid antagonist, as defined, and who is acting with reasonable care, to prescribe and subsequently dispense or distribute an opioid antagonist in conjunction with an opioid overdose prevention and treatment training program, as defined, without being subject to civil liability or criminal prosecution. Existing law requires a local health jurisdiction that operates or registers an opioid overdose prevention and treatment training program to collect prescribed data and report it to the Senate and Assembly Committees on Judiciary by January 1, 2015.
Existing law authorizes, until January 1, 2016, and only in specified counties, a person who is not licensed to administer an opioid antagonist to do so in an emergency without fee if the person has received specified training information and believes in good faith that the other person is experiencing a drug overdose. Existing law prohibits that person, as a result of his or her acts or omissions, from being liable for any violation of any professional licensing statute, or subject to any criminal prosecution arising from or related to the unauthorized practice of medicine or the possession of an opioid antagonist.
This bill would revise and recast these provisions to instead authorize a licensed health care provider who is permitted by law to prescribe an opioid antagonist and is acting with reasonable care to prescribe and subsequently dispense or distribute an opioid antagonist for the treatment of an opioid overdose to a person at risk of an opioid-related overdose or a family member, friend, or other person in a position to assist a person at risk of an opioid-related overdose. The bill would authorize these licensed health care providers to issue standing orders for the distribution of an opioid antagonist to a person at risk of an opioid-related overdose or to a family member, friend, or other person in a position to assist the person at risk. The bill would authorize these licensed health care providers to issue standing orders for the administration of an opioid antagonist by a family member, friend, or other person in a position to assist a person experiencing or suspected of experiencing an opioid overdose.
The bill would provide that a licensed health care provider who acts with reasonable care and issues a prescription for, or an order for the administration of, an opioid antagonist to a person experiencing or suspected of experiencing an opioid overdose is not subject to professional review, liable in a civil action, or subject to criminal prosecution for issuing the prescription or order. The bill would provide that a person who is not otherwise licensed to administer an opioid antagonist, but who meets other specified conditions, is not subject to professional review, liable in a civil action, or subject to criminal prosecution for administering an opioid antagonist.
The bill would also delete the repeal date and reporting requirements and expand the applicability of these provisions statewide.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 1714.22 of the Civil Code is amended to read:

1714.22.
 (a) For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
(1) “Opioid antagonist” means naloxone hydrochloride that is approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of an opioid overdose.
(2) “Opioid overdose prevention and treatment training program” means any program operated by a local health jurisdiction or that is registered by a local health jurisdiction to train individuals to prevent, recognize, and respond to an opiate overdose, and that provides, at a minimum, training in all of the following:
(A) The causes of an opiate overdose.
(B) Mouth to mouth resuscitation.
(C) How to contact appropriate emergency medical services.
(D) How to administer an opioid antagonist.
(b) A licensed health care provider who is authorized by law to prescribe an opioid antagonist may, if acting with reasonable care, prescribe and subsequently dispense or distribute an opioid antagonist to a person at risk of an opioid-related overdose or to a family member, friend, or other person in a position to assist a person at risk of an opioid-related overdose.
(c) (1) A licensed health care provider who is authorized by law to prescribe an opioid antagonist may issue standing orders for the distribution of an opioid antagonist to a person at risk of an opioid-related overdose or to a family member, friend, or other person in a position to assist a person at risk of an opioid-related overdose.
(2) A licensed health care provider who is authorized by law to prescribe an opioid antagonist may issue standing orders for the administration of an opioid antagonist to a person at risk of an opioid-related overdose by a family member, friend, or other person in a position to assist a person experiencing or reasonably suspected of experiencing an opioid overdose.
(d) (1) A person who is prescribed or possesses an opioid antagonist pursuant to a standing order shall receive the training provided by an opioid overdose prevention and treatment training program.
(2) A person who is prescribed an opioid antagonist directly from a licensed prescriber shall not be required to receive training from an opioid prevention and treatment training program.
(e) A licensed health care provider who acts with reasonable care shall not be subject to professional review, be liable in a civil action, or be subject to criminal prosecution for issuing a prescription or order pursuant to subdivision (b) or (c).
(f) Notwithstanding any other law, a person who possesses or distributes an opioid antagonist pursuant to a prescription or standing order shall not be subject to professional review, be liable in a civil action, or be subject to criminal prosecution for this possession or distribution. Notwithstanding any other law, a person not otherwise licensed to administer an opioid antagonist, but trained as required under paragraph (1) of subdivision (d), who acts with reasonable care in administering an opioid antagonist, in good faith and not for compensation, to a person who is experiencing or is suspected of experiencing an overdose shall not be subject to professional review, be liable in a civil action, or be subject to criminal prosecution for this administration.