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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 31, 2017 05:05 PM
From: Senator Patrick M. Browne
To: All Senate members
Subject: Emergency Prescriptions
I will be re-introducing SB 1409 of last session, which amends the Pennsylvania Pharmacy Act to permit pharmacists to dispense emergency prescription refills for up to 30 days pursuant to certain restrictions. Co-sponsors from last session include: EICHELBERGER, GREENLEAF, MENSCH, SCAVELLO, SCHWANK, YUDICHAK, COSTA, BREWSTER, FOLMER, BARTOLOTTA, RAFFERTY, STEFANO, VULAKOVICH, KILLION and WARD.

The legislation provides that a patient who is on a drug essential to sustaining their life or essential to maintaining a consistent drug therapy, and is not a controlled substance, may receive a 30 day emergency refill without a prescription.

Under current law, a pharmacist can only provide one refill of the prescription limited to a seventy-two hour emergency supply. This change is necessary because there are instances in which certain drugs are not available in a 72 hour supply, such as insulin.

This legislation would permit the pharmacist to dispense up to a 30 day emergency supply as long as the existing restrictions for emergency prescriptions are met and include:
  • the pharmacist first attempted to obtain an authorization from the authorized prescriber and cannot obtain the authorization
  • the drug which is the subject of the refill is not a controlled dangerous substance
  • the drug which is the subject of the refill is essential to the maintenance of life
  • the drug which is the subject of the refill is essential to the continuation of therapy in chronic conditions, and, in the pharmacist's professional judgment, the interruption of the therapy reasonably might produce an undesirable health consequence, be detrimental to the patient's welfare or cause physical or mental discomfort
  • contact the prescriber that an emergency prescription was dispense within 72 hours of dispensing the refill

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation.

Introduced as SB542