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H.R. 304 (115th): Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medications Act of 2017


H.R. 304 amends the Controlled Substances Act to ensure that paramedics and other emergency medical services (EMS) professionals are able to continue to administer controlled substances, such as pain narcotics and anti-seizure medications, pursuant to standing or verbal orders when authorized by State law. Further, the bill specifies that EMS agencies are permitted to have one DEA registration, rather than having separate registrations for each EMS location, so long as certain requirements are met relating to the transportation and storage of controlled substances are met.

Last updated Mar 15, 2017. Source: Republican Policy Committee

The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Nov 18, 2017.


Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medications Act of 2017

(Sec. 2) This bill amends the Controlled Substances Act to direct the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to register an emergency medical services (EMS) agency to administer controlled substances if the agency submits an application demonstrating that it is authorized to conduct such activity in the state in which the agency practices. The DEA may deny an application if it determines that the registration is inconsistent with the public interest.

An EMS agency may obtain a single registration in each state instead of a separate registration for each location.

A registered EMS agency may deliver, store, and receive controlled substances, subject to specified conditions.

An EMS professional of a registered EMS agency may administer controlled substances in schedules II, III, IV, or V outside the physical presence of a medical director if such administration is authorized under state law and pursuant to a standing or verbal order, subject to specified conditions.

The bill specifies that a hospital-based EMS agency (i.e., an EMS agency owned or operated by a hospital) may continue to administer controlled substances under the hospital's DEA registration.