ACCESS TO PRESCRIPTIONS DURING AN EMERGENCY

By Bob Katzen

The Public Health Committee’s September 9th hearing will also hear testimony on a measure requiring the state to develop and publicize a statewide plan for ensuring the availability of prescription medications during a state of emergency.

The plan would include allowing early refills of prescriptions; ensuring that vehicles delivering medications to pharmacies and hospitals be treated as emergency vehicles; and establishing a toll-free telephone number and a website for citizens to get assistance in locating prescription medication if none are available to them locally.

“After Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012, a constituent brought to my attention that we narrowly escaped a disaster,” said Rep. Lou Kafka (D-Sharon), the sponsor of the proposal. “His concern was that anyone who was at the end of their prescription medication would have run out before the pharmacies were once again accessible. The ‘100-year storm,’ is now a yearly event. We need to be better equipped to deal with hurricanes, blizzards, or now even tornadoes, and this legislation is an important part of that preparation.”

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