GOVERNOR TO APPROVE EYE DROPS BILL

 

By Bob Katzen

 

 

The House and Senate approved and sent to Gov. Baker a bill that would require insurance plans to cover refills of prescription eye drops under the same guidelines used by Medicare Part D. Plans in the Bay State currently restrict patients from refilling eye drops and other medications earlier than the 30-day or 90-day refill date. The bill would allow patients to get a refill if they run out of drops a few days prior to the allowed refill date.

   Supporters explained that unlike pills, eye drops are difficult to administer and patients often use more than one drop at a time because the first drop misses. They said this leads to patients either taking a twice daily eye drop only once a day or discontinuing their use of drops until the next allowable refill under their health plan. They argued that this can cause their condition, like glaucoma, to worsen and presents serious health and vision risks. 

   The Senate also added language that would allow some optometrists to treat anaphylactic reactions by injecting epinephrine or adrenaline. Under current law, only ophthalmologists are allowed to do so.

 

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