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Letter: Changing Utah's law on dispensing emergency medicines

Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor
Deseret News

The son of a friend died in Ohio of ketoacidosis. The problem was, it was a holiday weekend and his doctor was not available, so he went to the pharmacy to see if he could get emergency medicine. Unfortunately, it was the law in Ohio at the time that he could not get it unless the pharmacist was able to contact his doctor. He was not given the life-saving medicine, so he went home and died. His parents have succeeded in getting the law changed in Ohio and seven other states.

Utah has a law regarding the dispensing of emergency medicines. An emergency prescription can be filled but cannot exceed three days’ worth of medicine.

The three days is the issue which I question.

In today’s world many life-sustaining meds are not packaged in that small a quantity leaving the pharmacist and the patient in a dilemma. If the pharmacist gives the needed meds, in higher quantities than are allowed by law, he could lose his license. Many pharmacists won’t allow their patients to leave their counter without something, but not all do. So they are legal in allowing a patient to be in a serious health issue if a prescriber cannot be contacted.

A simple change in wording, which costs nothing, could do much to save a life.

To those in power, I suggest you do something beneficial for the diabetics in this state (approximately 1 in 17 Utah adults), without costing yourselves or the taxpayers a cent.

Pamela Schroder