WASHINGTON — Two congressmen from North Carolina are praising the bipartisan passage of a bill that would allow patients access to certain medications in an emergency situations.
The Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medications Act, sponsored by Reps. Richard Hudson and G.K. Butterfield, would amend the Controlled Substances Act to enable paramedics and other emergency medical services professionals to continue to administer controlled substances, such as pain narcotics and anti-seizure medications, to patients pursuant to standing orders issued by their EMS agency’s medical director, according to a statement from Hudson’s office.
Hudson, R-Concord, thanked Butterfield for helping with the bill that passed the House with unanimous support and urges the Senate to “get it to the president’s desk.”
“While today’s bill may not be flashy, it solves a problem and saves lives,” Hudson said in a statement. “It’s an example of how to get things done — finding common ground and advancing bipartisan solutions to the problems facing our country.”
According to the congressman’s office, quality emergency care may decrease and patients could suffer “simply because law and regulation have not kept up with the evolution of modern medicine.”
“When health emergencies occur, there is no time to waste,” Butterfield, D-Wilson, said in a statement. “This bill...will help protect the ability of our first responders to continue to provide appropriate treatment to patients in times of need and will help save lives and prevent disabilities. I am pleased to have led this effort with Congressman Hudson and I thank him for his leadership on this issue.”
The legislation is supported by a host of medical and first responder organizations, including the American Ambulance Association, the International Association of Fire Fighters and the National Association of Police Organizations.
The bill was unanimously approved by the House Energy and Commerce committee in September, according to Hudson’s office.