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Senate approves bill allowing emergency life-saving prescription refills

Ponca City Now - February 21, 2019 11:39 am

The full Senate has approved legislation to make sure citizens can get emergency refills on life-saving prescriptions.

Sen. Carri Hicks, D-Oklahoma City, is the author of Senate Bill 1019 which was passed unanimously on Thursday.  She said the legislation is based on a statute from Ohio called Kevin’s Law, named for 36-year-old Kevin Houdeshell.  A Type 1 diabetic, he ran out of insulin but because of the New Year’s holiday, the pharmacist was unable to reach his doctor to get authorization for a refill.  Without the insulin, his blood sugars skyrocketed sending him into diabetic ketoacidosis, which was fatal.

Since Ohio approved Kevin’s Law in 2015, a handful of states have adopted similar legislation.  Hicks would like Oklahoma to be among them.

“This piece of legislation is very personal for me. As the mother of a child with Type 1 diabetes, it’s devastating to think that a person could die as a result of not being able to get an emergency prescription refill,” Hicks said.  “It’s a common sense approach that can save lives.”

Hicks said beyond helping people with diabetes, the bill could be life-saving by ensuring emergency access to medications for other chronic health conditions including seizures, asthma and heart conditions.

Under SB 1019, a pharmacist could dispense up to a 90-day supply of the prescription under specific circumstances.

  • The pharmacy must have a record of the prescription for the drug prescribed in the name of the patient requesting it.
  • If the prescription doesn’t provide for a refill or it has expired and the pharmacist is unable to obtain authorization for a refill.
  • The pharmacist determines the drug is essential to sustain the life of the patient or necessary for the continued therapy for a chronic condition.

Hicks said the bill would not apply to narcotics.  The bill now moves to the House for further consideration.

 

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