Studies show that when patients follow the instructions of their physician and pharmacist and take their medications as directed, they live longer and healthier lives. A major barrier to this, especially among our senior population, is when prescription dates do not fall on the same day of the month, resulting in the patient being forced to make multiple trips to the pharmacy. Because of this, some go without life-saving medication until their additional prescriptions can be filled. I have recently introduced legislation that would help to alleviate this through a process known as “medication synchronization” or “med sync”.


House Bill 116, sponsored by State Representative Tim Brown (R-Bowling Green) and myself, would seek to provide for partial drug prescription refills for the purpose of synchronizing multiple prescriptions for one patient. Patients with diseases requiring multiple prescriptions, such as heart disease, cholesterol, COPD and high blood pressure, would be allowed to permissively participate in a process with their physician and pharmacist to align their medications so that they can be refilled on the same day.


“Med sync” simplifies patient and caregiver lives by reducing the amount of visits that a patient needs to make to the pharmacy to get his or her needed medication. It reduces confusion related to filling prescriptions, and minimizes the disruption of treatment due to delayed or missed refills. There are currently 17 other states working on similar legislation. Kentucky’s bill was recently signed into law by the Governor.


It is estimated that 21 percent of Americans use three or more medicines, and 10 percent use five or more. This number increases with age, with almost 40 percent of American adults aged 65 using five or more medicines. These statistics should be proof of the need for a law that would make it easier to collect those needed medicines and keep Ohioans healthy and in treatment.


Currently, some pharmacies and Medicare Part D allow use of a “med sync” program. HB 116 would require commercial plans and Medicaid to offer similar opportunities, as well as making it more affordable. A single trip to the pharmacy each month keeps patients on track and boosts adherence to their physician-recommended treatment. The bill is being evaluated in the House Health & Aging Committee, and I hope to see its quick passage for the benefit of all Ohioans who use multiple prescriptions.


As always, please contact my office regarding this bill or any other state government related issue. I look forward to working with you.

 
 
 
  
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