Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medications Act Passes House, Goes to President

On November 2 the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 304, the Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medications Act, which statutorily protects the practice of medical directors issuing standing orders authorizing qualified EMS personnel to administer controlled substances to patients. The bill originally passed the House in January and an amended version passed the Senate in October. The House agreed without objection to accept the Senate changes. H.R. 304 now goes to President Trump to be signed into law.

“I’d like to thank the House and Senate for passing this important legislation,” said National Volunteer Fire Council Chair Kevin D. Quinn. “For years, qualified EMS personnel have been administering pain medication in a prehospital setting based on advanced level patient assessment and under the oversight of a medical director. Having the ability to continue dispensing pain medications in this manner, which H.R. 304 would ensure, is critical.”

The Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medications Act was developed in response to concerns that regulatory actions that the federal government was considering taking to restrict access to pain medications could make it harder for local EMS agencies to obtain, transport, and administer those medications under standing orders. Click here to read the full text of the bill.