Alert: New Naloxone Regulations Effective on January 1, 2019

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Assembly Bill 2760 (Wood, Chapter 324) was signed into law in 2018 and became effective on January 1, 2019. California prescribers are now required to offer a prescription to a patient for either naloxone or another drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the complete or partial reversal of opioid-induced respiratory depression, as a rescue medication when one or more of the following conditions are present:

  • The prescription dosage for the patient is ≥ 90 mg Morphine Equivalent Daily Dose (MEDD).
  • An opioid medication is prescribed concurrently with a prescription for a benzodiazepine.
  • The patient presents with an increased risk for overdose, including a history of overdose, a history of substance use disorder, or a risk for returning to a high dose of opioid medication to which the patient is no longer tolerant.

The bill also requires a prescriber, consistent with the existing standard of care, to provide education on overdose prevention and the use of naloxone or other similar drug approved by the FDA to a patient and his or her designee or, if the patient is a minor, to the patient’s parent or guardian.

For additional information, providers may review the Naloxone page of the Medical Board of California website, which includes FAQsand the language in AB 2760. Providers may also review the December 2018 publication of The Scriptnewsletter on the California State Board of
Pharmacy website, which includes an article on page 11 titled “New law requires prescribers to offer prescription for naloxone with opioids.”

Posted on February 25th, 2019 and last modified on September 9th, 2022.