|EMS Legislation Signed into Law |
Last week, President Trump signed H.R. 304, the Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medications Act of 2017, into law. Endorsed by AAOS and OTA, the bill improves the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration process for emergency medical services (EMS) agencies, and clarifies that EMS professionals are permitted to administer controlled substances pursuant to standing or verbal orders when certain conditions are met.
“We greatly appreciate the bipartisan leadership provided by the Energy and Commerce Committee to bring this bill forward on a consensus basis,” AAOS stated in a support letter to Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). “We are truly grateful for your collective commitment to work on a bipartisan basis with stakeholders to arrive at the best policy and legislative text and to move the bill on a very timely basis.”
“This is an important bill that will help equip our first responders in the most unpredictable and urgent situations,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR). “The clarifications in this bill will translate to more detailed accounts of how registered agencies can administer controlled substances.”
Authored by committee member Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC), H.R. 304 initially passed the House by a vote of 404-0 in January. It passed the Senate, as amended, by unanimous consent, in October. H.R. 304 passed the House, as amended by the Senate, sending it to President Trump earlier this month.
“I’m thrilled to see this important fix signed into law,” said Rep. Hudson. “This is an example of how to get things done — finding common ground and advancing bipartisan solutions to get results people deserve.”
“The passage of this law will help save lives by ensuring people have access to medications in emergencies,” said Rep. Butterfield. “The goal is that first responders will have the tools to help people in life-threatening emergencies and enable individuals to receive the best care possible. This bill is important for my constituents in North Carolina, particularly those living in rural areas, who become sick or injured in remote areas and must be stabilized to travel to the nearest hospital.”
For more, read an earlier Advocacy Now article here.