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ACEP applauds House passage of Emergency Medications Act

The bill would permit physicians to issue standing orders to EMS personnel to administer controlled substances

By EMS1 Staff

WASHINGTON — The American College of Emergency Physicians applauded the passage of the Emergency Medications Act by the U.S. House of Representatives.

The bill would amend the Controlled Substance Act to permit physician medical directors to issue standing orders to EMS personnel so they can administer controlled substances to patients. The legislation also clarifies and codifies who is authorized to make verbal orders for controlled substances, and provides the option for a single EMS agency registration. It also clarifies receipt, movement and storage rules for EMS agency controlled substances.

“EMS provides critical care for patients while transporting them to hospitals. The ability to use controlled substances to administer medical care and medicine is essential to saving lives, managing pain and improving health outcomes,” ACEP President Rebecca Parker, MD, FACEP, said in a statement. “This legislation will help protect the ability of first responders to treat patients with appropriate and necessary medication.”

Supporters of the bill said it would also streamline DEA registrations for EMS agencies nationwide, reported the News Observer.

The legislation now goes to the U.S. Senate.