TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida’s slate of legislative bills waiting to proceed includes a change to who is allowed to prescribe emergency opioid treatments to patients.

Current state statutes define the treatments, called emergency opioid antagonists, as naloxone hydrochloride or any similarly acting drug that blocks the effects of opioids.

Senate Bill 544, called “Drug-related Overdose Prevention,” passed all committees and both legislative chambers, unanimously. Under the bill, pharmacists may prescribe emergency opioid treatments authorized by a health care practitioner.

Should the bill be signed into law or become law through a lack of additional actions once presented to the governor, a pharmacist’s prescription for an opioid antagonist, such as naloxone hydrochloride, may be made as a “nonpatient-specific standing order.”

Going forward, emergency responders, crime laboratory personnel, and members of law enforcement agencies, “including, but not limited to, correction probation officers and child protective investigators” would be immune from civil or criminal liability as a result of administering emergency opioid antagonists.

As long as the individuals listed in the bill administer the treatments within the scope or course of employment come into contact with a controlled substance or someone at risk of experiencing an overdose, they would retain the aforementioned civil and criminal liability.

Additionally, the bill’s text requires that hospital emergency departments or urgent care centers that treat and release someone thought to have overdosed, or an actual overdose patient, report said individual to the Florida Department of Health within 120 hours of becoming aware of the overdose incident.

The bill also allows for public schools to purchase and store naloxone supply from an approved wholesale distributor. The naloxone must be purchased at fair-market, free, or reduced prices for use, “in the event a student has an opioid overdose.” Naloxone supplies must be maintained securely at the school. Employees who administer such treatment must comply with reporting standards set by SB 544, and are immune from civil liability.