Health experts weigh in on a proposed bill to increase insulin access

Indiana Senate Bill 255 would make insulin available without a prescription.

Posted: Feb 17, 2020 6:01 PM
Updated: Feb 20, 2020 10:19 AM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) -- A proposed bill in Indiana would allow individuals to purchase insulin without a prescription.

A law implemented in 2014 made Indiana the only state to require a prescription for insulin.

This was to help patients avoid fraudulent medication.

Legislators are working to change that.

State Senator Jon Ford is one of the authors of Senate Bill 255.

The proposed legislation aims to improve access to insulin.

News 10 talked with a pharmacist from JR Pharmacy who shares how this would impact those who are insulin-dependent.

“Really, it’s something that just allows if there’s a diabetic in a situation where they quickly or urgently need insulin, and they’re not at their pharmacy with a prescription, they can get some to care of a situation like that,” Courtney Beardsley told News 10.

Health experts at Union Hospital’s Diabetes Education Center see this scenario play out often.

“What we’re finding is that there are more hospital visits, there are more ER visits, with the fact that they don’t have that access to that immediate insulin that they need,” Dale Voges, Manager of the Diabetes Education Center, told News 10.

Insulin can help treat both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. 

For those with type 1 diabetes, Voges says it's crucial that they have insulin in their body at all times. She says should insulin become available without a prescription this could provide support during an emergency.

“If they were to run out or lose their insulin, or waiting for a prescription, it’s something they could go to the pharmacy, buy that insulin at that time, and have that immediate need taken care of," Voges said. 

The bill passed through the Senate in January.

It appeared before the House on Monday for a second reading.

News 10 will continue to follow its progress.

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