Missouri House endorses wider distribution, access to treatment for heroin overdoses

Supporters say a measure to allow more access to an easy-to-use treatment for heroin and other opioid drug overdoses would save lives.

The Missouri House gave initial approval Monday to a bill that would allow pharmacists and pharmacy assistants to prescribe a drug that's been effective in treating potentially fatal overdoses to anyone.

State law already allows emergency personnel and first responders to carry and administer the nasal spray, marketed as Narcan.

Republican Rep. Steve Lynch, of Waynesville, says parents and friends of addicts want broader access to the lifesaving drug.

He says in states where broader access has been approved and police carry the antidote, deaths from overdoses have dropped dramatically.

The measure faces another vote in the House before moving to the Senate.