COLUMBUS, Ohio – State Representatives Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville) and Stephen Huffman (R-Tipp City) applauded the passage June 30 of Amended House Bill 188, legislation that updates consult agreements between physicians and pharmacists in Ohio. The bill also increases to a 30-day supply, from 72 hours, the amount of a drug that a pharmacist can dispense without a prescription to a patient.
The bill, which was introduced following the death of a constituent from Avon Lake who was unable to get a prescription of insulin refilled in time, aims to save lives by ensuring that patients can get emergency prescriptions refilled as long as it does not exceed a 30-day supply. If it does exceed 30 days, it cannot exceed the standard unit of dispensing. This bill would not apply to drugs that are considered controlled substances.
“This bill strives to save lives in the event that an individual needs their prescription refilled and their physician is unavailable,” said Rep. Manning, who sponsored the bill with Rep. Huffman. “I’m pleased that the House took steps to update consult agreements between doctors and pharmacists and that we took action on helping Ohioans get the lifesaving prescriptions they need in a timely manner.”
Part of the legislation also allows more than one pharmacist and more than one physician to enter into a consult agreement as long as each physician has an ongoing physician/patient relationship with each patient whose drug therapy is being managed; the diagnosis for which each patient has been prescribed drug therapy is within the scope of each physician’s practice; and each pharmacist has training and experience related to the particular diagnosis for which drug therapy is prescribed. The bill also modifies the process for implementing consult agreements.
“Am. House Bill 188 will help save lives for those individuals who are unable to reach their physician, and instead contact their pharmacist for a prescription,” Rep. Huffman said. “Under a consult agreement, a pharmacist is authorized to manage drug therapy for treatment of specified diagnoses and diseases for each patient who is subject to the agreement. This legislation is moving the bar forward to make Ohio a better place to practice medicine.”
The bill will now go to the Senate for further consideration.