Historic Legislation Heads to Governor’s Desk

COLUMBUS—The Ohio House of Representatives today voted to agree with the Ohio Senate amendments to Substitute House Bill 124, the last step needed by the Ohio Legislature to make the legislation law. The bill, sponsored by Representative Terry Johnson (R-McDermott) and Representative Steve Huffman (R-Tipp City), is the first time in Ohio history two doctors have introduced legislation together as primary sponsors.

Sub. House Bill 124 is a significant piece of public health policy stemming from a medical problem that both of the doctors have experienced in their profession. The bill authorizes a physician, advanced practice registered nurse, or physician assistant to prescribe or personally furnish a drug for a sexual partner of a patient diagnosed with chlamydia, gonorrhea, or trichomoniasis, without examining the sexual partner.

“Anything we can do medically to diminish the transmission of these infections will help improve the health of our citizens,” Johnson said. “Healthcare professionals in urgent cares and emergency rooms will benefit from this common sense advance in policy.”

The bill specifies that certain medical professionals may prescribe or personally furnish a drug for up to two sexual partners of a patient diagnosed with a specific STI. The legislation also grants immunity from civil liability, criminal prosecution or professional discipline to medical professionals acting in good faith and in accordance with the bill.

Substitute House Bill 124 now goes to Governor Kasich to be signed.