Insulin

House Bill 64 would allow pharmacists to fill an emergency 30-day supply of certain life-saving prescriptions, like insulin.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Running out of a prescription can be an inconvenience. In some cases, it's a matter of life and death.

"When you're running out, it is terrifying," Kentucky State Rep. Charles Booker said. "If you go up to three days without insulin, everything starts to shut down on you, and that's what happened to me."

Booker, a newly elected Democrat, is a type 1 diabetic. Exactly one year ago, he ran out of insulin and nearly died.

"My body was shutting down,” he said. “And I had prepared to leave here. I made peace, and I didn't think I would see my daughters again."

That experience is why he's a co-sponsor of House Bill 64. The piece of life-saving legislation is making its way through Frankfort.

"I'm so fortunate to still be here and have a chance to use that story to inform putting solutions forward that would help folks that may end up in my situation,” Booker said.

Modeled after similar laws in other states, the bill would allow pharmacists to fill an emergency 30-day supply of certain prescriptions.

"You have a prescription on record, but you can't get access to your physician to get that refilled," Booker said. "Now, the pharmacy can do that for you."

Insulin is the focus of Booker's story, but he said the law will also apply to other life-saving medications.

"If it's something that you need to live, we wanted to make sure that you could get access to it,” he said.

Pharmacists say the law could make all the difference in an emergency.

"We know this will save lives. There's no doubt about that,” said Chris Harlow, director of pharmacy services at St. Matthews Community Pharmacy.

Harlow said, at the heart of it, this is a patient safety bill. He said it's been a long time coming for patients and pharmacists alike.

"It's far past due, and I think that this is something pharmacists do advocate for, and we've advocated for it for a long time,” Harlow said.

Booker said HB 64 has strong bi-partisan support and is off to a good start. It passed through the House Health and Family Services Committee on Thursday afternoon.

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