CHI and California Pharmacists Association Applaud Assembly Health Committee for Passing Critical Legislation to Ensure Patient-Centric Access to Prescription Medication

AB 2418 To Improve Patient Health And Lower Costs Through Increased Medication Adherence, Streamlined Access To Prescription Refills

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AB 2418 creates processes that improve patients’ access to medications and encourages interaction between patients, pharmacists and doctors to ensure patients receive medications in a timely, convenient manner.

Sacramento, CA (PRWEB) April 30, 2014

The California Healthcare Institute (CHI) and the California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) applaud the Assembly Health Committee for passing Assembly Bill 2418 (Bonilla) with a vote count of 19-0. The legislation will improve patient health, lower costs and make it easier for patients to take their medication as directed by their healthcare provider. Specifically, AB 2418 promotes medication adherence by allowing patients to opt out of mandatory mail order programs, streamlining the refill process to allow patients to pick up all prescriptions in one trip, and providing for early eye-drop refills when patients inadvertently spill.

"In recent years, numerous new medicines have been developed to effectively treat chronic conditions that affect thousands of Californians,” said Todd Gillenwater, president and CEO of the California Healthcare Institute. “However, despite the manifest benefits of these therapies, an alarming number of patients do not take their medications as prescribed. AB 2418 is common-sense legislation that will help ensure that patients receive their medications in a way that is optimal for them, promoting adherence and resulting in improved patient health, reduced risk of hospitalization and lower overall costs of healthcare.”

Most patients with chronic health conditions – and approximately eight out of ten patients with all conditions – rely on prescription medication for treatment, and most patients with chronic conditions take multiple prescription medications. As many as 75 percent of patients do not take their medications as prescribed due to the inconvenience of multiple trips, cost and perceived ineffectiveness of therapy, among other reasons.

“Following your doctor’s instructions on taking your medication is a critical component of being in good health,” said Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla (D-Concord). “AB 2418 creates processes that improve patients’ access to medications and encourages interaction between patients, pharmacists and doctors to ensure patients receive medications in a timely, convenient manner.”

“Community pharmacists are trusted partners to California patients, and medication adherence is higher when patients have a choice between mail order and going to their community pharmacy,” said Jon Roth, CEO of the California Pharmacists Association. “By allowing patients to opt out of mandatory mail order programs and to pick up refills of all prescriptions in one trip, AB 2418 will help minimize confusion and ensure patient-centric access to prescription medication.”

“Getting to and from the pharmacy to refill multiple prescriptions is a significant burden for many California seniors who lack mobility and convenient transportation options,” said John Kehoe, President of the California Senior Advocates League (CalSAL) and former Secretary of the California Department of Consumer Affairs. “Many seniors with Parkinson’s disease, arthritis and other conditions find it difficult to administer eye drops to treat their glaucoma and prevent blindness. Assembly Bill 2418 is critical to keeping California seniors healthy and on their medication.”

“The Congress of California Seniors supports Assemblywoman Bonilla’s efforts to ensure that seniors are able to adhere to their medications. Many seniors have difficulty applying eye drops and can waste a portion of the prescription accidentally. The early refill provision of this bill will increase medication adherence and potentially prevent glaucoma and blindness. In addition, many patients including seniors, have mobility and transportation challenges and this bill allows for a single trip to the pharmacy,” said Mike Montgomery, Congress of California Seniors.

Nationwide, poor medication adherence leads to as many as 125,000 deaths, tens of millions of dollars in unnecessary hospitalizations and outpatient visits, and as much as $290 billion in wasted spending every year, according to a report from the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation (NEHI).

Media Contacts:
Erica Hiar
Director, PR and Communications
California Healthcare Institute (CHI)
Hiar(at)chi(dot)org/ 858-456-8885

Jamie Carota
Vice President, Center for Communications
California Pharmacists Association (CPhA)
JCarota(at)cpha(dot)com/ 916-779-4511

Ryan Morimune
Press Secretary
Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla
Ryan.Morimune(at)asm(dot)ca(dot)gov/ 916-319-2014

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About CHI-California Healthcare Institute
CHI represents more than 275 leading biotechnology, medical device, diagnostics and pharmaceutical companies, and public and private academic biomedical research organizations. CHI’s mission is to advance responsible public policies that foster medical innovation and promote scientific discovery. CHI’s website is http://www.chi.org. Follow us on Twitter @calhealthcare, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.

About the California Pharmacists Association (CPhA)
The California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) was founded in 1869 and is the largest state association representing pharmacists. CPhA represents pharmacists, technicians, and student pharmacists from all practice settings. These practice settings include community pharmacy (both independent owners and employees working in chain drug stores), hospitals & health-systems, and specialty practices such as compounding, managed care, and long term care. The CPhA mission is to advance the practice of pharmacy for the promotion of health. For more information, visit http://www.cpha.com.


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