New provisions in Daniel's Law would give increased access to Vivitrol
UPDATE: Daniel's Law passed out of committee June 5, and will go to the Senate floor on Wednesday.
OHIO (WKEF/WRGT)-- Daniel's Law is now one step closer to becoming official in Ohio with the support of the Ohio Pharmacists Association.
The bill, SB 119, would limit the dose of opioids doctors can prescribe to match national guidelines made by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
New provisions would give more access to an important lifesaving drug, Vivitrol.
The bill, Daniel's Law, is named after Daniel Weidle of Germantown.
It was first introduced to FOX 45 by Daniel's father, Scott Weidle, in February 2017.
Scott Weidle said Daniel had been in recovery from a heroin addiction, and had been staying clean by using Vivitrol for eight months when he overdosed and died.
Weidle said his son's death was due to his inability to get access to Vivitrol after his primary care doctor would no longer prescribe it.
"When I first heard Scott Weidle speak about what happened to his son Daniel, I was disheartened to hear how the system failed his son," said Antonio Ciaccia, spokesperson for the Ohio Pharmacists Association.
Ciaccia testified in front of the Ohio Senate Committee on Health, Human Services, and Medicaid on Tuesday in support of Daniel's Law, with Scott Weidle sitting right behind him.
"Here you had a patient who got the right diagnosis, got the right therapy and was on the right path, yet the system fell through," Ciaccia said.
Ciaccia also said Daniel's law would be an inch of policy change, for a mile of patient benefit.
It uses previously passed laws, to create a safety net to ensure patients using medications like Vivitrol, don't get stranded without it, like Daniel.
"If a patient's doctor closes their doors, if a patient experiences an insurance coverage gap, if a patient is away from their home clinic, or if a patient simply can't make it to their doctor in a timely manner, all they would have to do is show up to a pharmacy, any pharmacy, and as long as the pharmacy can verify that the patient is on some form of naltrexone (Vivitrol) therapy, the pharmacist can dispense a five day supply of oral naltrexone to bridge the gap for the patient to get to their next injection point," said Ciaccia.
The provision of Daniel's Law, would allow pharmacists to dispense vivitrol just by verifying that a patient is being treated with it already.
"To act as a trampoline back into the system, when that system breaks down," Ciaccia said.
Scott Weidle said, the loss of his son, he believes is because of the medical discrimination of the disease of addiction.
Now, he's one step closer from stopping other parents from sitting in his seat.
"Scott Weidle, you've been a warrior and I appreciate all of your work on this," Ciaccia said on the committee hearing floor.
Senator Bill Beagle is the Vice Chair of the committee the bill was heard in Tuesday.
Beagle said he is confident the Senate can pass this version of Daniel's Law before summer break, so it can go to the Ohio House in the fall.
This would make Ohio the first state to offer access to Vivitrol in this way.