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0088 Exploring the unknown: Utah’s prescription drug policy evaluation experience
  1. Anna Fondario
  1. Utah Department of Health, Salt Lake City, USA


Statement of purpose The purpose of evaluating the Utah Emergency Administration of Opiate Antagonist Act (Naloxone Access Law) is to determine if it is effective in reducing opioid overdose deaths in Utah. The Naloxone Access Law expands access to naloxone and provides protection for the administration of naloxone in Utah.

Methods/Approach A Utah Policy Evaluation Team was assembled from members of the Utah Pharmaceutical Drug Community Project (UPDCP), Utah’s coalition that addresses prescription drug abuse, misuse, and overdose prevention efforts. The Team met to gain an understanding of the law and its intended outcomes. They received 16 training hours at the Injury and Violence Prevention Program and Policy Evaluation Institute, received four hours of customised technical assistance, and participated in the Safe States Alliance Evaluation Community of Practice.

Results Approximately 3000 informational naloxone pocket cards have been disseminated, 26 community pharmacies have received naloxone education and training, and one community pharmacy has a collaborative practice agreement in place. In addition, information on naloxone is being incorporated on several state websites. Naloxone evaluation questions have been added to the 2015 Utah Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance System and provider and pharmacy surveys focusing on naloxone related attitudes, knowledge, awareness, and beliefs have been developed. This survey will be distributed to approximately 11,000 healthcare professionals.

Conclusions Several evaluation efforts indicate that the Utah Emergency Administration of Opiate Antagonist Act will go a long way in decreasing opioid overdose deaths by removing legal barriers to the timely administration of naloxone and reducing the fear of criminal prosecution when reporting an overdose.

Significance and contribution to the field Evaluating the Naloxone Access Law will help strengthen the evidence of effectiveness around laws designed to prevent prescription opioid overdose deaths. In addition, it will contribute to the identification and implementation of the best options for addressing the prescription drug abuse, misuse, and overdose epidemic for states as lessons learned and evaluation results are shared. It is crucial to provide evidence that the resources being expended actually produce the benefits and results expected.

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