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Senate approves bill allowing pharmacies to extend life-saving prescriptions on emergency basis

Sen. Carri Hicks Sen. Carri Hicks
Sen. Hicks explains emergency prescription bill.

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 ninety-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.

Contact info
Sen. Hicks: (405) 521-5543