New Stadelman law protects patients from missing vital medications

For Immediate Release: August 31, 2017
New Stadelman law protects patients from missing vital medications

Illinois pharmacists now have the discretion to dispense vital medication to patients when a refill isn't immediately available through a doctor under a law signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Stadelman discussed the legislation at a news conference Thursday at the University of Illinois College of Pharmacy in Rockford. Senate Bill 1790 gives pharmacists the ability to refill a doctor's prescription in emergencies when the pharmacist believes disrupting medication would harm the patient. 

Joining Stadelman for the announcement was his son Nikolas, a Type 1 diabetic whose close call while on a family vacation at Yellowstone National Park provided the impetus for the legislation. Nikolas Stadelman, a Guilford High School sophomore who was 13 at the time, recounted how he coped without insulin for 36 hours when his parents' best efforts to refill his prescription over the weekend were unsuccessful.

"I swam and did push-ups to try to lower my blood sugar," he said. "I know I'm not the only one who has gone through an emergency like this."

Stadelman praised the Illinois Medical Society and Illinois Pharmacy Association for helping draft legislation that addressed industry concerns and put patients' interests first and spare others the worry and possible medical jeopardy of going without critical prescriptions. Safeguards in the new law include:
  • Emergency refills only can be issued at a pharmacy that has previously dispensed a prescription for the same patient and same medicine.
  • Pharmacists must determine that a disruption of the medicine would be medically harmful or painful for the patient.
  • Controlled substances are excluded and refills cannot be issued for a period longer than 30 days.
"Pharmacists are essential members of the patient's health-care team," said Garrett Reynolds, a practicing pharmacist and association executive director. "SB1790 recognizes the pharmacist's vital contribution in the patient-pharmacist-physician partnership."