Maine Legislature OVER-RODE GOV LePage’s opiophobic veto on Naloxone.

lepagevetoMaine Governor Loses Fight Over Heroin Overdose Antidote

The Maine legislature on Friday overturned Governor Gary LePage’s veto of a bill that would allow pharmacies to sell an opiate-overdose antidote without a prescription
Apr 29, 2016 at 6:16 PM ET

Spencer Platt

On Friday, the Maine legislature voted with a two-thirds majority to override the veto made by Governor Paul LePage of a bill that would allow the sale of the opiate-overdose antidote naloxone without a prescription.

LePage was the target of criticism for his veto of the bill as well as comments he made about opiate addicts—after vetoing the bill, LePage said “naloxone does not truly save lives; it merely extends them until the next overdose.” He attempted to defend his comments after an onslaught of criticism with an even more offensive remark.

“There comes a point in time where who is responsible for who,” the controversial governor, who once said drug dealers were flocking to Maine to “impregnate young white girls,” said. “You know a shot of Narcan is $70 and the person who gets it doesn’t have to pay it back.”

“Governor LePage may think a person’s life is worth less than $70, but saving lives is priceless and we are going to continue to advocate for laws that are based in science, compassion and human rights,” said Jerónimo Saldaña, policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance, in response to the vote on Friday. “Today, the Maine legislature sent a resounding message to Governor LePage and every other elected official in the nation that promoting failed drug war policies will not be tolerated.”

Naloxone is available without a prescription in more than 30 states, but it’s still difficult to obtain in many places—which is shame, since it has a proven capacity to save lives. The drug is a shot, given to someone who’s overdosed, and can keep someone alive for an hour or more until they can get medical assistance. The CDC estimates its reversed more than 26,000 overdoses since 1996.

In September, CVS Pharmacies announced a program to start selling Naloxone in its pharmacies in several states where the drug is legally sold without a prescription. Currently, the pharmacy chain sells Naloxone without a prescription in 22 states, including New Hampshire, which was added to the growing list of states on Thursday.

The opioid epidemic has touched so many families in New Hampshire and across the U.S. and expanding access to naloxone is one important step in our efforts to address it,” Marcia Lee Taylor, President and CEO of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, said in a press release on Thursday. “We applaud CVS Health for increasing access to this life-saving drug for patients without a prescription at CVS Pharmacy locations in New Hampshire and in many other states across the country.”

In 2013, there were approximately 24,000 deaths from heroin and prescription opiate overdoses, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Heroin use in the United States increased 63 percent from 2002 through 2013. This increase occurred among a broad range of demographics, including men and women, most age groups, and all income levels,” according to a CDC report released in July. The CDC credits the spike to users who started abusing prescription opiates like Oxycontin and Hydrocodone.

4 Responses

  1. St. Augustine said sometimes you have to choose between the lesser of evils…

  2. I think it’s good that they put the governor in his place. The only thing that I wish is that the press would stop referring to the heroin and pain medication problem strictly as an opioid epidemic. The ordinary American doesn’t have the intelligence to distinguish between heroin, illegal counterfeit hydrocodone pills and prescription pain medications when it’s all lumped together as only opiates. They also are too ignorant to know the difference between addiction and dependant, and addict and patient.

    It’s just like the Trump campaign, these people are buying into his idiotic and moronic ramblings that are racist and discriminate against both women and people of color. Are people actually listening to what he’s saying, or are they just hearing his rantings because they’re pissed off and not listening to the words that spew from his mouth like a bad case of diarrhea? This governor will be Donalds best friend, except it won’t just be the addicts who won’t deserve life saving medications, it will be the entire chronic pain community as well. This man has lied so many times over the past 5 months that if he was Pinocchio, his nose would be a Sequoia Redwood tree. After he builds his boarded wall and kicks all the illegals out, then the GAS CHAMBER SHOWERS will be next for over 100 million people who he will say cost the American tax payers way too much money.

    I’m sorry if I might have offended anyone on my personal beliefs of the half Orangutan Republican candidate. But if this country has that big of a brain fart, then I’m going to Mexico before he builds the wall. At least I know that I’ll be able to get pain relief there.

  3. Amen,,,good for them!!!mary

  4. Where do I sign because nobody cares about other pain they hope you die and forgotten about

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