News and Press Sen. Ed Markey pushes bipartisan bill to limit lawsuits relating to administration of opioid overdose drugs

With the opioid epidemic showing no signs of slowing, a bipartisan bill introduced in the U.S. Senate this week aims to save lives by removing the reluctance one may have to step in and help with an overdose.

The Opioid Overdose Prevention Act introduced by U.S. Sen Ed Markey, D-Mass.; Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.; and Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., aims to exempt from civil liability people who prescribe or are prescribe opioid overdose-reversing drugs like Naloxone. Markey said by removing the potential for a lawsuit relating to an attempt to save someone who is overdosing, it will provide real world results and chip into the statistic of the more than 7,900 people who have died of opioid overdoses between 2000 and 2013 in Massachusetts alone.

“We cannot allow the prescription drug epidemic to spread from the emergency room to the courtroom as a result of good Samaritans administering lifesaving drugs like naloxone to prevent overdoses,” Markey said in a statement. “This legislation is an important step to help protect the first responders, volunteers, and family members who are on the front lines of preventing overdoses and working to end the scourge of prescription drug and heroin addiction in Massachusetts and across the country.”