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GENERIC SUBSTITUTION THREATENED - May 7th Vote

ATTENTION PHARMACISTS!
Substitute Senate Bill 114 has been scheduled for a vote on Wednesday, May 7.  

Are you prepared to notify a prescriber every time you make a substitution for a medication used to treat epilepsy or seizures?

Substitute Senate Bill 114 (Sub. SB 114) would require pharmacists to notify both the patient and the prescriber any time a substitution is made in a medication used to treat epilepsy or seizures.  There are OVER 100 drugs used to treat people with epilepsy, and most of these drugs are used to treat a myriad of other conditions.  Sub. S.B.114 would require a pharmacist to notify the patient and the physician every time there is a switch to a bioequivalent drug, which the FDA has stated that there is no therapeutic difference in these drugs. 

Pharmacists do not know what diagnosis the physician gave the patient when prescribing the drug. This would mean when a patient is prescribed Depakote, one of the commonly prescribed drugs to treat epilepsy , the pharmacist does not know if it was prescribed for:

There are a significant number of medications that may be used to treat epilepsy. Practically all of these medications are also used for other conditions.

OPA sees this legislation as both redundent and a potentially time-consuming burden for the pharmacist.  Time that could be better spent counseling patients on how to correctly take their medication.

Ohio law currently allows a prescriber who determines that a patient should receive a specific drug to write "Dispense as Written" or "D.A.W." on the prescription.  If a prescriber indicates "D.A.W.", a pharmacist is prohibited from substituting a generically equivalent drug.  This works equally well with generic drugs when the physician writes the generic drug name and manufacturer.  Both of which they should know if they are prescribing it.

Ohio law also permits a pharmacist to select a generically equivalent drug if the price to the patient is less than or equal to the price of the prescribed drug.  If such a substitution is made, the patient or patient's representative must be informed and offered the right to refuse the drug selected.  It also requires that the label for every drug dispensed shall include the drug's brand name, if any, or its generic name and the name of the distributor.  

PLEASE EMAIL OR PHONE THE MEMBERS OF THE SENATE HEALTH COMMITTEE TODAY AND ASK THEM TO OPPOSE SUB. S.B. 114.  It's bad for Ohio and bad for patients.

For your convenience, the following link is a list of $$Link
http://www.ohiopharmacists.org/pdf_files/senatehealthcommittee.pdf
Senate Health Committee members and phone numbers
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