By Bob Katzen
A new bill passed that requires insurance plans to cover refills of prescription eye drops under the same guidelines used by Medicare Part D. Prior to passage of this new law, Bay State law restricted patients from refilling eye drops and other medications earlier than the 30-day or 90-day refill date.
The new law allows patients to get a refill if they run out of drops a few days prior to the allowed refill date and permits some optometrists to treat anaphylactic reactions by injecting epinephrine or adrenaline. Under prior law, only ophthalmologists were allowed to do so.
Supporters say that unlike pills, eye drops are difficult to administer and patients often use more than one drop at a time because the first drop misses. They argue this leads to patients either taking a twice daily eye drop only once a day or discontinuing their use of drops until the next allowable refill under their health plan. They note that this can cause their condition, like glaucoma, to worsen and presents serious health and vision risks.