Commentary, News

Small bit of hurricane good news: 2007 law facilitates easier prescription drug refills for those impacted

As almost everyone is aware by now, Hurricane Matthew has triggered disastrous flooding throughout much of North Carolina. With the waters not expected to completely recede until at least October 26 and with an estimated $1.5 billion in damages to homes, businesses, and infrastructure, many counties are facing a long road to recovery. Further, there are numerous public health concerns arising in the wake of the storm.

One short term concern for many North Carolinians involves their being unable to obtain needed prescriptions that may have been destroyed and for which their records may now be lost or ruined. Happily, in 2007, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a law (G.S. 58-3-228) that addresses this issue. It makes clear that there is a procedure to waive time and other restrictions on filling or refilling prescriptions for state residents who reside in regions that are under a state of emergency due to a disaster.

Under the law, covered persons or subscribers are able to:

  • Obtain one refill on a prescription if there are authorized refills remaining, and
  • Fill one replacement prescription for one that was recently filled, as prescribed or approved by the prescriber.

Who’s Covered?  This law applies to all North Carolinians as Governor Pat McCrory declared a State of Emergency in all 100 counties on October 6, 2016. The state Commissioner of Insurance, Wayne Goodwin, issued a bulletin on October 7, 2016 to remind insurers of their obligation to provide these extra prescriptions. This law will be in effect until November 5, 2016 or 29 days after the NCDOI bulletin was released. Contact your provider for more information.

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