Michigan pharmacies are now able to dispense emergency refills of prescriptions, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced on Wednesday.
Whitmer signed an executive order allowing pharmacies to refill prescriptions for up to 60 days’ worth of supplies for patients, as well as require insurers to cover the emergency refills. The order takes immediate effect and ends on April 22, but could be extended if necessary.
“No Michigander should be worried about running out of critical medications during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why I signed this Executive Order authorizing pharmacists to refill up to 60 days of medication for their patients and easing restrictions on pharmacists so they can continue to help their patients during this crisis,” Whitmer said in a statement. “Residents who are limiting their time in public places and practicing social distancing shouldn’t have to fear running low on their prescription drugs during these trying times.”
The order only applies to non-controlled substances. It also gives pharmacists the ability to substitute equivalent medications without prescriber approval if there are shortages.
“This Executive Order will ease a burden on seniors and families worried about maintaining a supply of medication for themselves or their children,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Chief Medical Executive and Chief Deputy Director for Health at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, in a statement. “We continue to urge Michiganders to practice social distancing if they are out in public and to wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer regularly to help stop the spread of COVID-19.”
As of Friday, Michigan has nearly 3,000 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The death toll for the state is at 60.
The United States has more than 68,000 confirmed positive cases of the coronavirus and 994 deaths as of Friday, according to reports from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
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Jordyn Pair is a reporter with Battleground State News and The Michigan Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]