In response to the passage of the “Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medications Act of 2016” (H.R. 4365), the president of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), Rebecca Parker, MD, FACEP, released the following statement:
“I commend the U.S. House of Representatives on the bipartisan passage of the “Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medications Act of 2016,” sponsored by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) and Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC). This legislation is strongly supported by ACEP and other national organizations representing EMS, because it will make sure EMS agencies can continue to administer approved medications to their patients under the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). EMS provides critical care for patients while transporting them to hospitals. The ability to use controlled substances to administer medical care and medicines is essential to saving lives, managing pain and improving health outcomes. This legislation will help protect the ability of first responders to treat patients with appropriate and necessary medication.”
Specifically the legislation would amend the Controlled Substances Act (21 USC 821 et seq) to permit physician medical directors to issue standing orders to EMS personnel so they may administer controlled substances to patients. In addition, the legislation clarifies and codifies who is authorized to provide verbal orders for controlled substances; provides the option for a single EMS agency registration; and clarifies receipt, movement and storage rules for EMS agency controlled substances.
This legislation now goes to the U.S. Senate.
ACEP is the national medical specialty society representing emergency medicine. ACEP is committed to advancing emergency care through continuing education, research and public education. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, ACEP has 53 chapters representing each state, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. A Government Services Chapter represents emergency physicians employed by military branches and other government agencies.
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