PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration says a prescription drug that can reduce fatalities from heroin overdoses is about to become more widely available in Pennsylvania to police and the public.

Key provisions take effect Saturday in a September law that was passed in an effort to get the drug naloxone into the hands of more people who can use it to stop heroin overdoses.

Naloxone, commonly referred to by the brand name Narcan, reverses the effects of heroin and opioids like oxycodone. Although Pennsylvania had permitted paramedics and doctors to use it, police were not able to legally administer the antidote.

The new law also allows physicians to prescribe naloxone to friends and relatives of addicts, who are often the first people to come into contact with someone suffering an overdose.

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