COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) — A bill designed to help recovering addicts stay clean took a major step forward Wednesday.
The Ohio Senate unanimously voted to pass the bill, SB 119, also known as Daniel’s Law.
“Certainly a bittersweet day,” Scott Weidle said. “It’s been a long journey up here. Doesn’t take the grief away, but we did what we came to do.”
The bill is named after Scott’s son, Daniel, who died from an overdose while waiting for a new prescription of Vivitrol. The drug helped Daniel stay sober for eight months, but his primary care physician stopped prescribing it.
If ultimately signed by Governor Kasich, the bill would allow any pharmacist to dispense Vivitrol just by verifying that a patient is already receiving it for treatment.
“I am certain the legislation will save lives,” Senator Bob D. Hackett (R - London), a co-sponsor of the bill, said.
“Oh absolutely, it would’ve saved Daniel’s life,” Weidle said. “If this bill would’ve been two and a half years ahead of its time, Daniel would still be here. It no doubt will save lives in the future.”
The bill was first introduced to FOX 45 by Weidle in February 2017.
He said Daniel had been in recovery from a heroin addiction. Weidle said his son’s death was due to his inability to get access to Vivitrol.
It’s now his mission to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
“For the legacy of Daniel, to keep it from happening again to others," he said, "it was the next best right thing to do.”
Senators in the Ohio Statehouse, Weidle and the Ohio Pharmacists Association believe this bill will eventually be an example for states across the country.
SB 119 now moves to the House. In addition, HB 167, a companion bill, was also voted on and approved by the House Health Committee Wednesday morning.