LANSING, Mich., June 22, 2020 — State Reps. Abdullah Hammoud (D-Dearborn) and Kevin Hertel (D-St. Clair Shores) introduced legislation last week to offer increased access to prescription refills and better support pharmacists in Michigan. House Bill 5873, sponsored by Hammoud, would revise Michigan’s insurance code to remove barriers to make prescription refills more accessible to patients during a state of emergency.

“This pandemic has been tragic for many families, making it critical for us to improve our laws and help our residents get through the remainder of this one and prepare ourselves for the next,” said Hammoud. “Our bills would serve as a significant benefit for patients across our state by making it easier for them to get refills on their prescriptions during an emergency while also providing clarity and support for our neighborhood pharmacies.”

House Bill 5874, sponsored by Hertel, would amend Michigan’s public health code to provide greater discretion to pharmacists when dispensing emergency prescription refills. This bill also outlines specific steps a pharmacist must take when doing so, including notifying the patient and prescriber.

“We need to make it easy for patients to obtain the medicine they need to live healthy lives, this is important during times of emergency as well as any other time,” said Hertel. “I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this legislation and allow pharmacists to better provide the care their patients need.”

These bills would codify specific policies within Gov. Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-25 to better prepare state law to address future states of emergencies.