Top Tags

Public Hearing – Opioid Overdose Reversal Drugs


SUBJECT:  Opioid overdose reversal drugs: assessing and improving access to and availability of drugs to prevent opioid overdose deaths.

PURPOSE:  The purpose of this hearing is to examine access to and availability of opioid overdose reversal drugs, such as naloxone, and to identify, if necessary, means by which to expand access and availability statewide.

New York City
Thursday, May 17
11:00 A.M.
Assembly Hearing Room
19th Floor
250 Broadway

Opioid antagonists, such as naloxone, are potentially life-saving prescription medications used to reverse overdoses caused by heroin and opioids. New York State has made progress expanding access to naloxone and similar drugs. In 2006, New York State passed a law authorizing non-medical personnel to administer naloxone to individuals who seek it. A 2014 law expanded this to allow the prescribing, dispensing, and distribution of opioid antagonists by a non-patient specific order. In addition, many first responders now receive training to administer naloxone.

While the State has expanded the number of laypeople and professionals that are trained to administer naloxone, potential gaps in access may still remain. Not all first responders receive training, and many do not have access to naloxone. Statewide, colleges, universities, homeless shelters, and other locations do not have universal access to naloxone.

In addition, availability for consumers continues to be limited. While pharmacies are able to dispense naloxone to consumers without a prescription, according to a recent New York Times article, actual availability varies. With over 1.9 million Americans suffering from opioid use disorders in the past year according to the Department of Health, access to a potentially lifesaving medication is a crucial step towards combatting this epidemic.

This hearing is intended to examine availability of and barriers to life-saving overdose medications such as naloxone, and the steps the State can take to get these medications into the hands of more individuals.

Persons wishing to testify should complete and return the enclosed reply form by Monday, May 14th at 1:00 P.M. It is important that the reply form be fully completed and returned so that persons may be notified in the event of emergency postponement or cancellation of the hearing.

Oral testimony will be limited to 10 minutes. In preparing the order of witnesses, the Committees will attempt to accommodate individual requests to speak at particular times in view of special circumstances. These requests should be made on the attached reply form or communicated to Committee staff as early as possible. In the absence of a request, witnesses will be scheduled in the order in which reply forms are postmarked.

Ten (10) copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk.

In order to further publicize these hearings, please inform interested parties and organizations of the Committee’s interest in hearing testimony from all sources.

In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the Assembly, in accordance with its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Assembly facilities and activities.

Linda B. Rosenthal
Member of Assembly
Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse

Richard N. Gottfried
Member of Assembly
Committee on Health

Kevin A. Cahill
Member of Assembly
Committee on Insurance


Persons wishing to be invited to testify at the one of the public hearings on the availability of and access to opioid overdose reversal drugs are requested to complete this reply form by Monday, May 14th at 1:00 pm, and mail, email or fax it to:

Katie Jesaitis
Committee Analyst
Assembly Program and Counsel
Room 442 – Capitol
Albany, New York 12248
Phone: (518) 455-4371
Fax:     (518) 455-4693

_____ I plan to attend the public hearing on the availability of and access to opioid overdose reversal drugs to be conducted by the Assembly Committees on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, Health and Insurance on Thursday, May 17th.

_____ I plan to testify at the hearing. My statement will be limited to 10 minutes, and I will answer any questions which may arise. I will provide 10 copies of my prepared statement.

I will address my remarks to the following subjects:





____  I do not plan to attend either of the above hearings.

____ I would like to be added to the Committee mailing list for notices and reports.

____ I would like to be removed from the Committee mailing list.

____ I will require assistance and/or handicapped accessibility information.  Please specify the type of assistance required:



NAME:  ______________________________________

TITLE:   ______________________________________

ORGANIZATION:  _____________________________

ADDRESS:  ___________________________________

E-MAIL:  _____________________________________

TELEPHONE: _________________________________

FAX:   ________________________________________