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Gov. Wolf signs sixth opioid disaster declaration renewal

Local News

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – For the sixth time, Gov. Tom Wolf has renewed Pennsylvania’s opioid disaster declaration.

The declaration allows state agencies and others to collaborate on ways to fight the opioid epidemic.
Preliminary estimates are that overdose deaths in Pennsylvania were down 20 percent in 2018, compared to 2017.

The latest renewal comes with two new initiatives. The first is the release of the Opioid Data Dashboard 2.0. Along with the data already available, the latest version also looks at metrics of how the opioid crisis affects families and children.

“Including infants with neonatal absence syndrome as well as pregnant women with opioid use disorder receiving medication-assisted treatment,” Pennsylvania health secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said.

The second initiative is new guidance on insurance and the opioid reversal drug naloxone. Loved ones or medical professionals have reported getting a prescription for others only to find themselves being denied life insurance or being charged higher premiums due to the prescription.

“Today, I am reminding insurers that underwriting and rating policies and practices may not be discriminatory, unfair, or deceptive,” Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman said.

Anyone who believes they may have been discriminated against due to a naloxone prescription may file a complaint with the Pennsylvania Insurance Department.

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