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AADE Member-Activists Help Move Emergency Prescription Refills in Pennsylvania

Sep 12, 2017

In Pennsylvania, AADE member-activists have been championing a new law regarding emergency refills of certain prescriptions. Senate Bill 542/ House Bill 1186 would allow for people with chronic conditions to receive emergency refills of certain prescriptions without a physician if, in the pharmacist’s professional judgement, interruption of that drug regimen would produce an undesirable health consequence detrimental to the patient’s overall welfare.

This bill mandates that a pharmacist provide one refill of the prescription and the quantity of that refill for a 72-hour emergency supply. If that particular drug cannot be dispensed in a 72-hour supply, an amount not to exceed a thirty-day emergency supply may be dispensed or sold. If this bill becomes law, various insulins would be refillable on an emergency basis. 

Prescriptions for opiates and other controlled substances cannot be refilled without a physician’s consent.

AADE’s Pennsylvania Members played an important role in moving this legislation. Local grassroots networks strategically targeted (with calls and emails) Senators and House members on influential committees in the state legislature. Members who live in those legislators’ districts were targeted with several emails, asking them to contact their legislators.

HB 1186 was slated to move through the House first. AADE members applied pressure there, to no avail. AADE members then targeted a Senate committee with calls and emails. This activist participation moved SB 542 out of Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee. SB 542 is now on the Senate floor awaiting a vote.

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