Augusta, MAINE – In response to pressure from Democrats, Republican gubernatorial candidate Mary Mayhew last night broke with Governor Paul LePage to say that, as Governor, she would take action on rules that would allow for the over-the-counter sale of naloxone, a live-saving, anti-overdose drug.
Mayhew had originally remained silent in response to questions about her position, but with her rejection of the Governor’s stance last night, she joins Ken Fredette, Mike Thibodeau, and Garrett Mason in becoming the fourth of five Republican gubernatorial candidates to do so. Auto-body shop chain owner and one-time failed independent gubernatorial candidate turned Republican Shawn Moody has still not answered questions about where he stands on making the live-saving drug available over the counter.
Maine Democratic Party Chairman Phil Bartlett issued the following stance in response:
“Why is it so hard for Shawn Moody to answer a simple question?” Bartlett asked. “Maine people are dying every day at the hands of drug overdoses, and it is not unreasonable to ask the person who wants to be Maine’s next governor to say whether or not he believes a medication that can save their lives needs to be made more easily available.
"It’s entirely possible that if the Governor doesn’t release these rules, and if the State Board of Pharmacy refuses to act on them as they should, that the next governor will face this choice. So where does Moody stand? Mayhew, Fredette, Mason, and Thibodeau have all made it clear that they agree with Democrats. It’s time for Moody to answer to the people of Maine.”
Governor LePage has been blocking the implementation of rules sent to him by state regulators five months ago that would make naloxone available without a prescription. While the State Board of Pharmacy has the statutory authority to promulgate the rules without the approval of the Governor, they have refused to do so, alleging that they need his sign-off despite the Attorney General making it clear they do not. According to reports, the Governor has gone so far as to issue a gag order for members of the board, telling them they cannot speak to the press about the issue. As a result, Democrats across the state – along with Republican gubernatorial candidates Mary Mayhew, Mike Thibodeau, Ken Fredette, and Garrett Mason – have spoken out against LePage, calling for him to move the rules forward.
Meanwhile, Shawn Moody, who has virtually no record whatsoever, has refused to tell the people of Maine where he stands on the issue.
Maine State lawmakers approved making naloxone available without a prescription in April 2016, and overrode, on a bipartisan basis, a veto by the Governor, in which he said naloxone “does not truly save lives; it merely extends them until the next overdose.”
While the Governor sits on the rules, one Mainer dies every day as a result of a drug overdose.