ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Monroe County officials introduced Maisie’s Law — a new proposed legislation that will require local pharmacies to distribute Narcan with every opioid prescription.
Brighton parents Adam and Marybeth Gillans lost their 9-month-old daughter, Maisie, when she came across a loose methadone pill in their neighbor’s kitchen and she swallowed it. Since then, the couple has been fighting to change the way opioids are stored.
“The legislation will require every pharmacy in Monroe County to dispense at least one dose of Narcan to every individual picking up an opioid prescription unless the individual opts out,” Monroe County Legislator Justin Wilcox said. Patients may be able to opt out, and Wilcox said the pharmacist is required to have a conversation with the patient about Narcan.
Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said as the area deals with COVID-19, the number of overdoses — fatal and nonfatal — have risen compared to years in the past.
“Addiction thrives in isolation,” Bello said. “The numbers tell tragic stories. So far this year Monroe County has had 65 fatal opioid overdoses compared to 47 at this time last year.” When it comes to nonfatal overdoses, Bello said there have been 354 nonfatal overdoses compared to 286 at this time last year.
“The prompt administration of Narcan can be the difference between life and death,” Monroe County Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza said. “This is just good community proaction to prevent fatalities.”
“I do think that this could only be a good thing.”
Mendoza said the vast majority — about 75% — of fatal overdoses occur in private residents and emphasized the importance of getting Narcan in the home. He then when on to say that this is just a small piece of the puzzle in the fight against the opioid epidemic.
“This action by the Monroe County Legislature will save lives, so regardless of how someone overdosed, they will be saved,” Adam Gillan said. “Hopefully you will also understand that you are carrying a loaded weapon and will treat it as such.”
Currently, the pharmacy will be able to bill up to $40 of the copay to the New York State Department of Health. Anyone who does not have health insurance, is able to get Narcan free of charge through the Monroe County Health Department.