|Senate Passes Bucco Bill Expanding Emergency Access to Lifesaving Prescriptions
The New Jersey State Senate has passed legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco (R-25) that would allow a pharmacist to dispense an emergency supply of chronic maintenance drugs, without a current prescription from a doctor.
“In the time it takes to get a doctor to authorize refill, a patient with a serious medical condition can end up hospitalized – or worse,” Senator Bucco said. “When a woman reached out to my office to share how her son almost died because of a dangerous over-regulation, I knew we had to pass this bill. By easing access to emergency medications, we can ensure that no mother ever has to go through the fear of losing her child like that ever again.”
Senator Bucco’s legislation aims to help patients and caregivers such as Debra Reinhart, a New Jersey woman whose son almost died when he was unable to get his insulin prescription, according to a report by NJ Spotlight.
Under current law, a pharmacist is permitted to allot a 72-hour supply of a medication. S-1135 would expand the supply limit to 30 days, ensuring people with serious conditions, such as allergies or diabetes, have enough medication on hand to keep them safe.
To prevent abuse, S-1135 would also bar a pharmacist from supplying the medication to a patient more than once in a 12–month period.
“Healthcare laws should help people stay well, but this regulation is putting people with chronic conditions at risk. It has to be fixed now,” Bucco said. “Patients deserve a safe and legal way to refill their medication in an emergency. No one should be denied access to lifesaving drugs, just because they forgot call for a refill.”
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