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Maine AG Says Pharmacy Board, Not LePage, Must Allow Over-the-counter Anti-opioid Drug

A vial of Naloxone, which can be used to block the potentially fatal effects of an opioid overdose, is shown Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, at an outpatient pharmacy at the University of Washington.
Ted S. Warren
/
AP Photo/File
A vial of Naloxone, which can be used to block the potentially fatal effects of an opioid overdose, is shown Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, at an outpatient pharmacy at the University of Washington.

Governor LePage and Attorney General Janet Mills have clashed on plenty of issues, but Mills says the governor’s critics misunderstand how the rulemaking process works and who has the final say.

Several lawmakers and the Maine Democratic party are blaming Gov. LePage for failing to implement a state law to allow the dispensing of naloxone, a drug that counters opioids in a person’s system, without a prescription. But according to Maine’s attorney general that criticism is misdirected.

“The Governor is not required to sign off on these rules in any formal sense, I believe he is just given a courtesy review of the rules,” says Mills.

Mills says comments that the Governor is refusing to sign off on the rules are a misunderstanding of the rulemaking process. She says the state pharmacy board, which adopted the rules last August, has the authority to issue the rules right now.

“The rules were voted on by the pharmacy board, I believe unanimously, back on August third, 2017,” she says. “So they are ready to go out the door, they are ready to be promulgated.”