Hershey, PA. The Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) and the Department of Health (DOH) joined the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association at Hershey Pharmacy to discuss updates to the Naloxone Standing Order and encourage pharmacies to keep a variety of naloxone formulations on hand for the public. December 12, 2022 (Commonwealth Media Service photo).
Happy weekend, all.
Since 2017, more than 22,000 overdose reversals were reported using naloxone from a state distribution program, according to the Shapiro administration.
The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD), which distributes free naloxone to organizations and individuals through its Naloxone for First Responders Program (NFRP), has distributed 214,514 kits or 429,028 doses of the overdose reversal medicine since 2017.
The NFRP Centralized Coordinating Entities (CCEs) also distributed an additional 265,308 kits of naloxone to organizations serving high-need communities.
The program reported that more than 22,815 overdose reversals have been recorded using state-purchased NARCAN, a brand name of naloxone.
“We are continuing to work with our local and state partners in the drug and alcohol field to make naloxone more readily available,” acting Secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Latika Davis-Jones said. “We must keep fellow Pennsylvanians alive and decrease the chances of individuals suffering a fatal overdose.”
Pennsylvania residents can purchase or use their insurance to obtain naloxone at local pharmacies without a prescription from their physician by presenting a copy of the Department of Health’s standing order.
“Anyone can save a life by administering naloxone to a person who is experiencing an opioid overdose,” acting Health Secretary Dr. Debra Bogen said. “I encourage Pennsylvanians to obtain naloxone from a pharmacy, community give away event, or other sources – and learn how to give it. You never know when you could save the life of a stranger neighbor, friend, or family member.”
As always, the top five stories from this week are below.
U.S. Sens. Bob Casey and John Fetterman of Pennsylvania joined a bipartisan group of senators on Wednesday introducing new legislation aimed at preventing future freight train derailments like the one last month in East Palestine, Ohio.
Darlington Township, Pennsylvania was also affected by the wreck of the Norfolk Southern train that carried hazardous materials including vinyl chloride. Residents have raised concerns about how the air, water, and soil in the area were affected after Norfolk Southern conducted a controlled release of vinyl chloride in the days following the derailment, claiming it was necessary to avoid an explosion.
In his first budget address, Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro urged lawmakers in the General Assembly to work together to pass a commonsense spending plan, proposing increased funding for Pennsylvania schools, investments in economic development, and community-based health and safety initiatives.
Speaking to a joint session of the now-divided Legislature on Tuesday, Shapiro lauded Pennsylvania’s financial position, saying his fiscal blueprint uses conservative estimates that are $3 billion lower than those projected by a state forecasting office over the next five years.
U.S. Sen. John Fetterman hasn’t been to his Capitol Hill office since mid-February. But he’s been able to keep abreast of issues affecting his constituents and participate in legislation thanks to a staff that works in lockstep to advance the senator’s priorities.
That work includes some official business, including joining Senate legislation last week, aimed at tightening rail safety measures in the aftermath of the Norfolk Southern derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.
More than 15,000 Pennsylvania teachers would get a pay raise under legislation to gradually raise the minimum salary for educators statewide to $60,000, which is designed to counter a shortage of educators by making the profession more attractive.
The legislation sponsored by state Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin, is part of a slate of proposals by Pennsylvania House lawmakers designed to address a shortage of new teachers by improving the financial prospects of an education career, and by reducing the barriers to teacher certification.
Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro will deliver his first budget address to a joint session of the Pennsylvania General Assembly on Tuesday, a tradition used to set a legislative wish list and map a vision for the future.
Shapiro inherited a bolstered reserve and growing surplus from former Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, who clashed with a Republican-controlled Legislature and whose first year in office was consumed by a months-long budget impasse. Despite improvement to the commonwealth’s finances, Republicans have urged caution and suggested saving funds to pay for future increased costs.
A signed spending plan must be in place by the start of the fiscal year on July 1.
And that’s the week. We’ll see you back here next week.
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