ACLU-PA Position: Supports
HB 2527 would expand the scope of Good Samaritan immunity provided under Act 139 of 2014 from the use of naloxone only (an opioid overdose reversal drug) to all opioid reversal medicines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The ready availability of naloxone has saved untold lives in Pennsylvania since Act 139 was enacted. Despite the widespread use of naloxone (aka 'Narcan') to reverse opioid overdoses, the number of overdose deaths in Pennsylvania remains alarmingly high with 5,089 deaths reported in 2020 and another 4,317 deaths in 2021.
Because the FDA continues to approve new drugs that reverse opioid overdoses (also referred to as opioid antagonists), first responders and others are no longer limited to using naloxone. HB 2527 would expand Pennsylvania’s Good Samaritan protections to include all opioid anatagonists, so that any new life-saving drug can be accessed without penalty just as naloxone is today.
Governor Wolf signed HB 2527 into law on November 3, 2022 as Act 135 of 2022.