Mt. Pleasant Mother Wants Emergency Prescription Refill Bill To Be Passed

Insulin medicine (WCIV).JPG

Sunday's event for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation on Daniel Island attracted dozens of families affected by the autoimmune disease. A bill that would make it easier for patients to get a 30-day emergency supply of insulin is stuck in the General Assembly. Many parents aren't happy about it.

"Without having the correct medicine to be able to function day in and day out, there's nothing more important. Right?," said Paige Kuehmeier, a mother who lives in Mt. Pleasant.

Her 14-year-old son is a Type I diabetic. Kuehmeier would like to see Senate Bill 0243 move forward in the statehouse. If it becomes law, it would allow pharmacists to dispense medicines in a 30-day emergency supply. The medication must be essential to saving a life, like insulin or inhalers.

"24 hours without insulin is a critical amount of time for somebody who's a Type I diabetic. And it can mean the difference of life and death. So, I don't know what I can do to support that type of a bill more. But I would do anything. It means the world," she said.

Kuehmeier explained how her diabetic son came dangerously close to running out of insulin. She believes passage of the new law would have eased her family's worries.

"If there's a scare or a concern that you can't get the medicine that you need to survive, that's of utmost critical concern. I can't imagine anything more important," she said.

That's why she hopes state lawmakers will take up the proposal again. She says passing it will help diabetic families across South Carolina.

"I can't imagine why it wouldn't be a high priority and be passed," she said.

State Senator Luke Rankin, a Republican from Horry County, is sponsoring the bill. He introduced it last year. But it became stuck in the Senate Committee on Medical Affairs.

ABC News 4 reached out to him to find out the status of his proposal, but he hasn't returned a call or email.

Emergency prescription refill laws are different across the country. But at least 10 states have passed new versions of it, including Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania. Utah, Oregon, and Connecticut are working on passing the same type of bill.

Before Pennsylvania passed its new law, pharmacists were legally able to issue 72-hour supplies of drugs to patients who could not obtain a doctor’s prescription for a refill before running out. Insulin is an example of a drug that isn’t available in 72-hour supplies. That means it couldn’t be prescribed under the previous guidelines.

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