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Rep. Koehler Announces Passage of Legislation Ensuring Patient Access to Life-Saving Medication

December 10, 2015
J. Kyle Koehler News

State Representative Kyle Koehler (R-Springfield) announced the Ohio House’s concurrence yesterday on legislation that will ensure patient access to insulin medications during medical emergencies.

The legislation followed the tragic death of 36-year-old Kevin Houdeshell of Avon Lake, Ohio. Mr. Houdeshell died just days after his insulin prescription ran out after he was unable to secure a refill from his pharmacy due to current regulations. A lapsed prescription and unfortunate timing resulted in Mr. Houdeshell's inability to receive the life-saving medication necessary.

Current regulations restrict the ability of pharmacists to fill emergency prescriptions often resulting in an urgent need for insulin for patients with diabetes. Under the legislation, pharmacists acting under a consult agreement would now be able to manage or modify prescriptions while limited to the terms of their agreement outlined by a physician.

"This is just common sense legislation that will save money on medical expenses and potentially save lives,” Rep. Koehler said.  "More than ever, pharmacists are intimately involved with patients that are on multiple medications from multiple physicians. This legislation allows pharmacists to act, within terms of an agreement with a physician, to provide the best care possible for Ohioans."

As pharmacists take an increasingly active roles in their patients’ health, this legislation would allow patients and pharmacists to more effectively monitor health outcomes. The legislation does not give pharmacists independent prescriptive authority.

Current Ohio law states that pharmacists can only distribute 72 hours of emergency prescription medications.

House Bill 188 now awaits the Governor’s consideration.