LANSING, Mich. — A pair of bills sponsored by Sen. Kevin Daley that would allow pharmacists to dispense insulin under certain emergency circumstances was signed into law on Thursday.
“I am happy to see this legislation reach the finish line and being formally signed into law,” said Daley, R-Lum. “Countless Michiganders need insulin to survive, and they should never be forced into a place where they can’t get their lifesaving medication. My bills would establish a safety net for those who rely on this medication in their daily lives.”
Senate Bill 155, now Public Act 36 of 2021, would allow pharmacists to dispense up to a 30-day supply of insulin to an individual if the individual has no current refills on file, but they have a preexisting relationship with that pharmacy, and the pharmacist cannot get ahold of the original prescriber.
SB 156, now PA 37 of 2021, would amend the Insurance Code so an emergency refill dispensed in this situation would be covered by an individual’s health insurance.
“I believe this is a commonsense measure that will protect Michiganders who rely on insulin to survive,” Daley said. “I understand the barriers and precautions that are in place with regard to many available medications, but I don’t think we should be placing folks into life or death scenarios when it’s clear they need this stuff to stay alive. I believe this legislation creates a better way that focuses strongly on helping people in need.”
Similar legislation has been approved by several other states as a result of tireless advocacy from Kevin Houdeshell’s family.
In 2014, over New Year’s weekend, Houdeshell’s prescription for insulin ran out and he was unable to contact his doctor’s office to obtain a new prescription. He was turned away from the pharmacy and sent home without insulin. Houdeshell began rationing his doses, and a lack of insulin in his system led to diabetic ketoacidosis and his tragic death.
Daley said he’s glad we can now add Michigan to the list of states who have a safety net on the books and thanked those who helped get this legislation approved.
“I would like to thank Tammy Martin, who is a constituent of mine from Lapeer, and Jill Verdier for bringing this issue to my attention and to the governor’s desk. Tammy has worked tirelessly with my office on this legislation and I am glad I was able to help make a difference for her and the entire diabetic community.”
The legislation was signed into law by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday, July 1 and took effect upon being signed.