Insulin Bill Aims to Address Emergency Situations

Mass. State House

(File photograph.)

A new bill before state lawmakers on the Public Health Committee would allow pharmacists to dispense a 72-hour supply of insulin to a patient in an emergency situation.

The bill, filed by Fitchburg Republican Sen. Dean Tran, defines “emergency situation” as an event in which a doctor’s authorization for dispensing insulin cannot be readily obtained. The bill presents another option for state lawmakers to consider as they mull potential steps to take this session around health care access and prescription drug costs.

The Senate earlier this month unanimously passed a pharmaceutical pricing bill that made insulin access a centerpiece. That legislation would cap co-pays at $25 a month and exclude insulin from deductibles, a provision senators said could provide price relief for the one in 10 Massachusetts residents with diabetes.

Tran filed his bill in October, and the Senate referred it to the Public Health Committee for review Nov. 7. The House agreed with that referral last week.

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