LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Kevin Daley on Thursday introduced a pair of bills that would allow pharmacists to disperse insulin under certain emergency circumstances.
“People need this stuff to survive,” said Daley, R-Lum. “Individuals who rely on insulin should never find themselves in a situation where they are unable to access this necessary medication. These bills are meant to provide a safety net to those who rely on insulin in their day-to-day lives.”
Senate Bill 155 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 hold of the original prescriber.
SB 156 would amend the Insurance Code so an emergency refill dispensed in this situation would be covered by an individual’s health insurance.
Similar legislation has been approved by 38 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.
“I believe the system failed Kevin Houdeshell, and I am happy to see states across the nation taking this problem seriously. I’m going to continue working to make sure Michigan is one of them,” Daley said. “Red tape and burdensome legal hoops often have negative results for people seeking help. I find this to be a commonsense reform.”
Both bills were referred to the Senate Committee on Health Policy and Human Services.