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Refill Medications Early Before a Hurricane or Emergency

Monday, August 22, 2011

Florida law requires insurance companies to refill medications early for hurricane evacuation

Disability Rights Florida, Florida’s protection and advocacy system, offers the following advice for citizens to insure they have the necessary medications for hurricane season:

Everyone should have a sufficient supply of medical supplies in case of an emergency. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s difficult to get necessary medications because insurance companies require a certain amount of time between refills. Florida law recognizes this dilemma and allows pharmacists to refill medications early in certain situations.

The “Emergency Prescription Refill” law (Florida Statute 252.358) lets you refill your prescribed medicines during a disaster if the county where you reside:

  • Is currently under a hurricane warning issued by the National Weather Service;
  • Is declared to be under a state of emergency in an executive order issued by the governor; or
  • Has started its emergency operations center and its emergency management plan

A related law (Florida Statute 465.0275) applies to counties outside a formally declared emergency. Pharmacists are permitted to dispense an emergency 72-hour supply if they are unable to quickly get an approval from the doctor for the refill. It’s important to discuss this now with your doctor and pharmacist so that you are prepared for emergencies.

Finally, it’s important to be ready for these situations by having a list of all your medicines, including the name of the doctor who wrote the prescription, the name of the drug, the amount of medicine to take, and the name and location of your pharmacy.

For more information about preparing for disasters, please visit the Emergency Preparedness topic area of our website.

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benefits, disasters and emergencies, insurance, medication,

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