October 1, 2011 marked a day that the Epilepsy Foundation of Connecticut, people with epilepsy and all the family and friends of people with epilepsy should long celebrate. With the passage of landmark legislation, Connecticut becomes the first state in the country to require the pharmacist to receive the consent of a physician before substituting epilepsy medication. This new law, which went into effect on October 1st will ensure that people with epilepsy receive a consistent supply of their medication. Prior to passage of this law substitution could and did occur without notice potentially leading to dire and life changing consequences.
Questions & Answers about the new law
Who will this new legislation affect?
Individuals who are prescribed drugs for the treatment of epilepsy.
What does my doctor need to write on my prescription for the law to apply?
Your doctor needs to indicate that the drug is being used for the treatment of epilepsy.
How does the law work?
The new law requires pharmacists to receive your physician’s consent before substituting a different manufacturer or distributer.
What happens if my pharmacist doesn’t refill my prescription with the same manufacturer?
The pharmacist must notify you and your doctor and obtain written consent from your doctor.
Are there multiple manufacturers for some antiepileptic drugs(AED)?
Where do I find the name of the manufacturer of my drug?
It is on the prescription label.
What happens if the pharmacist is unable to reach my doctor?
The pharmacist will dispense a 72 hour emergency supply with any available manufacturer. IF THIS OCCURS, YOU SHOULD TAKE THE NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS TO ENSURE YOUR SAFETY.
Does my doctor and local pharmacist know about this new law?
Does the law apply to switching from brand to generic or generic to generic?
The law applies to both. Pharmacists may not fill a prescription by using a different drug manufacturer or distributor of the prescribed drug.
Who should I contact if the pharmacist doesn’t follow the law?
Commission of Pharmacy
deLindaBrown-Jagne, Board Administrator 860-713-6070
Complaints against a pharmacist can also be directed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Who is not covered under the law?
Anyone receiving state-administered general assistance, patients in a long term care facility, other institutional facility or pharmacy that provides prescriptions for inpatient hospital.
Following are other resources that will hlep you understand the new law. Feel free to download each and call EFCT at 860-346-1924 if you have any questions.
Epilepsy Position Paper
PA 11-44 sec. 150 - Epilepsy Legislation
Thank You Thank You Thank You
The Epilepsy Foundation owes a debt of gratitude to the following legislators who took the time to understand the needs of people with epilepsy.
Rep. Betty Boukus (D-Bristol)
Sen. Toni Harp (D-New Haven)
Rep. Toni Walker (D-New Haven)
Public Health Committee
Sen. Terry Gerratana (D-New Britain)
Rep. Betsy Ritter (D-Waterford)
Sen. Jason Welch (D-Bristol)
Rep. Jason Perillo (D-Shelton)
We are particularly grateful to former State Senator Mary Ann Handley (D-Manchester) who was the chair of the Public Health Committee 4 years ago when we first introduced this legislation. After retiring she returned to offer testimony before her old committee.
We are also grateful to the following organizations who supported our efforts:
Connecticut Medical Society
Connecticut Neurological Association
American Academy of Neurology
American Epilepsy Society
Most importantly, we are thankful to Michael Dugan at Capital Consulting and to the many courageous individuals who attended meetings and testified at public hearings.