Published December 24th, 2015 by Stephanie
The prescription drug system exists for a very good reason: access to prescription medications is restricted because they’re dangerous if the wrong people take them, because they can be habit-forming, or because unlimited access could invite abuse. However, what’s potentially deadly to one person can be lifesaving to someone else, and if a prescription for a vital medication should happen to run out at an inconvenient time, the results could be disastrous.
Some long-term prescriptions are meant to relieve chronic pain, lower cholesterol or blood pressure, or else return some stability to a mind that’s suffering from a chemical imbalance. It’s unfortunate in such cases when people are forced to go without their medications for a few days, but it doesn’t mean that they’re going to die because of this lapse.
However, other medications don’t allow for this kind of grace period. Type I diabetics absolutely require a regular supply of insulin or else it becomes very easy to enter a diabetic coma and die. Asthma attacks don’t happen on a regular basis, but each one makes it hard to breathe and can potentially lead to suffocation. An irregular heart needs regular access to medicines like nitroglycerin, and a heart attack is very likely without them.
Unfortunately, you can’t always see a doctor when you need one, especially around the holidays. If you’re faced with an unreachable physician and a pharmacist who can’t fill an expired prescription even just to tide you over until your next doctor’s visit, you could be forced into an easily avoidable life-threatening situation.
That’s why Ohio has recently passed a bill that gives pharmacists more leeway when it comes to interpreting the exact length and dosage of a doctor’s prescription. This leeway is limited to absolutely essential medications like insulin and asthma inhalants (and it specifically avoids the easily abused narcotic drugs), but it means that a diabetic won’t be denied insulin on nothing more than a technicality.
Of course, Ohio’s new regulation (and others like it) still do nothing about prescription drug prices, but there are other solutions to that problem. Programs like the USA Rx discount pharmacy card are easy and free to join and offer up to 75% off of brand names and generics at virtually every pharmacy in the United States. If you want to find out more, try calling our toll-free number at 888-277-3911 or else emailing us at [email protected].