Assemblywoman Bonilla’s bill, AB 2418, was approved this week by the Assembly with strong bipartisan support. This measure improves the process for medical patients to obtain their prescription drugs and follow their doctor’s instructions on taking their medication.
“AB 2418 gives patients an option so that they can receive their prescription medication in a way that best suits their needs,” said Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla (D-Concord). “This bill creates processes that improve patients’ access to medications and encourages interaction between patients, pharmacists and doctors to ensure patients receive their medications in a timely, convenient manner.”
AB 2418, co-sponsored by the California Healthcare Institute and the California Pharmacists Association, proposes the following safeguards:
- Allows patients to opt out of their health plan’s mandatory mail order program if they prefer to obtain their prescription drugs from a community pharmacy.
- Streamlines the prescription refill process by ensuring that all of the patient’s medications for chronic conditions can be refilled on the same schedule. If a patient requests to have their medications on the same refill schedule, all of the following must apply:
- The patient has taken the prescription medications for at least 90 days.
- The prescription medications are dispensed by a single network pharmacy.
- The prescription medications being refilled follow the controlled substance prescribing and dispensing guidelines.
- Allows patients who run out of prescription eye medications because of accidental spillage or who use more than 70% of their eye drops to be eligible for an early refill.
AB 2418 will be heard next in Senate policy committee.