OLYMPIA–Brian Chase of Longview had a simple message to lawmakers: going without his insulin could kill him.
Chase made the trip to the state capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 26 to speak in favor of House Bill 2727 introduced by Rep. JD Rossetti (D-Longview). The legislation was heard in the House Healthcare and Wellness Committee.
“This is about helping hundreds of thousands of citizens dependent on life sustaining medications like Brian from Longview and across the state,” Rossetti said after the hearing. “A simple change to our state laws could save lives. There is no reason why a single person in Washington should fall into a diabetic coma, or lose their life, because numbers on a piece of paper are a day too late.”
Rossetti’s legislation would allow pharmacists to dispense a 30-day supply of medicine to patients with expired prescriptions under specific, life-saving circumstances.
Under current state law, patients with expired prescriptions can only get a three day refill. Unfortunately three days just isn’t long enough for most working folks to schedule and see their Doctor in person for a routine medicines that diabetics take.
Waiting for an additional doctor appointment to fill a prescription can be dangerous or deadly, Rossetti said, especially in small towns and rural areas where there’s a doctor shortage and appointments are hard to get.
The proposal allows pharmacists to dispense to patients if: the patient has attempted to contact the prescribing practitioner without success, the patient has been on a constant drug therapy and the drug is not a controlled substance. Also, a pharmacist can only dispense to the same patient once within 12 months.
“If you or someone you know relies on medication like insulin to stay healthy and alive,” Rossetti said, “I’d be interested in hearing your story. Please get in touch with my office and I’ll share your experiences with other lawmakers as we consider this reform and other ways to make our health care system more affordable and effective for everybody, rich or poor.”