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Feds Want Narcan in Schools and Workplaces - Avoid Legal Liability

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Failure to Follow Guidance Could Lead to Huge Damages in Wrongful Death Lawsuits

WASHINGTON - Amzeal -- Federal health officials are urging (https://www.axios.com/2023/09/08/biden-naloxone...) schools and workplaces to keep the opioid overdose reversal drug Narcan [Naloxone] on hand, now that it available without a prescription in a form anyone without training can administer in an emergency.

As a consequence, the law professor labeled the "Driving Force Behind the Lawsuits That Have Cost Tobacco Companies Billions of Dollars" is warning schools that failure to head this advice could lead to huge damages in lawsuits.

Public interest law professor John Banzhaf notes that college campuses are literally dotted with wall-mounted AED units which typically cost over $1500 each.  In comparison, the Biden administration says that a two-dose package of Narcan will retail for $44.99, and some will be available for even less.

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So, on a college campus, where the chance that a typical 18-25 year old student will suddenly go into cardiac arrest and need an AED is minuscule compared with his chances of overdosing, the school can available 30 Narcan kits to save the life of an overdose victim for the cost of a single AED unit, Banzhaf argues.

Also, the legal duty of a college to protect the health of its young students - many of whom are immature and still too young to legally purchase alcohol - is far higher than the duty of a typical workplace to foresee and prevent deadly health emergencies (cardiac arrest or drug overdose) which might occur to its workers.

During 2022 a staggering 110,236 Americans - an average of 300 a day, or 1 every five minutes - was killed by a drug overdose; an ever growing number of unnecessary deaths primarily exacerbated by the increased availability and use of synthetic opioids such as Fentanyl.  Many were young people experimenting with drug use as college kids often do, and some ingested Fentanyl unknowingly.

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In view of this now clearly foreseeable deadly danger, especially to exuberant and often naive young people in college, the FDA's approval of Narcan - which can now be purchased and administered by anyone without training or a prescription, and the governmental guidelines suggesting that schools should have it readily available - should come with a warning for universities: "WARNING - Failure To Have Narcan Can Lead to Wrongful Death Legal Liability."

That warning comes from the law professor who has been called a "King of Class Action Law Suits," and "The Law Professor Who Masterminded Litigation Against the Tobacco Industry."
So Banzhaf is warning universities, including his own, not to delay in acquiring a sufficient number of Narcan sprays to save lives and limit possible legal liability.

http://banzhaf.net/   jbanzhaf3ATgmail.com   @profbanzhaf

GW Law

Source: Public Interest Law Professor John Banzhaf
Filed Under: Education

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