DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Ohio House of Representatives voted Wednesday afternoon to allow pharmacists to substitute generic epinephrine for name brand drugs.
The Epinephrine Accessibility Act would authorize pharmacists to fill a prescription for an epinephrine autoinjector, or epi pen, identified by a specific name with another autoinjector if the drugs they contain are the same.
Epinephrine is used to treat life-threatening allergic reactions.
Current law allows pharmacists to substitute a generic drug for a name brand version but does not address medical devices that dispense drugs.
House Bill 101 specifies a pharmacist may not make the substitution if it will cost the patient more than the prescribed autoinjector unless the patient specifically requests a more expensive option.
The measure comes after months of controversy over the rising cost of the brand-name EpiPen.
“This common-sense bill provides greater access to the free market and lowers costs for those who suffer from severe allergies,” Representative Bill Dean said. “By reducing the burden for these patients, the bill ensures that each person can take ownership for managing a critical aspect of their care.”
“I am glad the House passed and I was able to co-sponsor the Epinephrine Accessibility Act,” Representative Niraj Antani said. “This is a common-sense bill to empower the free market to give more affordable access to this life-saving medication.”
The bill passed unanimously, 93-0. It now heads to the Ohio Senate.
Click on the image below to read the full bill.