FEB 02, 2016
West Virginia Leads Ophthalmology’s 2016 Push for Early Prescription Eyedrop Refills
West Virginia ophthalmologists are keeping the ball rolling on the nationwide effort to secure early prescription eyedrop refill privileges for patients from their health plans. The West Virginia Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons, in partnership with the Academy, cleared a major hurdle last week, winning legislative support in the House of Delegates. The bill has now been referred to the West Virginia Senate. If the proposal continues its forward momentum, West Virginia will join 18 other states where lawmakers heeded ophthalmology’s advocacy for preventing interruptions in prescription eye drop treatments.
The unanimously approved House Bill 4038 would require health plans to allow patients to refill their eye drop prescriptions if they run out of the medication prior to the refill date.
In addition to West Virginia, the Academy is actively working on this issue with ophthalmology societies in Arizona, Colorado, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Vermont. Each is a collaborative effort geared toward helping legislators understand the importance of early eye drop refills. We’re showing lawmakers earlier refills may be appropriate at certain times because self-administration of sight-saving prescription eye drops may involve some reasonable amount of waste.
The Academy’s nationwide advocacy to protect sight and empower lives has already reached 18 states. Additionally, similar guidelines were adopted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for Medicare Part D.