DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado lawmakers are working on a bill that would let people pick up their prescriptions when the pharmacy is closed.
House Bill 23-1195 would allow pharmacies and health clinics to operate automated prescription dispensing machines so patients can access their medication outside of regular pharmacy business hours.
Lead sponsor Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet said the medication would be stocked in the machine and patients would be able to discuss the prescription with a live remote pharmacist.
“These automated dispensing machines would allow for interaction with a remote pharmacist and you would be able to submit your prescription and get it filled right at that vending machine,” Michaelson Jenet said.
Supporters say machines would improve access
Supporters of the bill said it removes unnecessary barriers to improve access to the medication patients need.
“I think not being able to access your pharmacy during business because you might be at work is a real problem that everyday Coloradans have,” Michaelson Jenet said.
For Roland Halpern, this meant waiting the entire weekend before he could refill a prescription prescribed on Friday.
“This wasn’t a life-threatening situation for me, but I can only imagine for someone else, where they really needed that medication and it would’ve caused serious problems if they didn’t get it, what would they do?” Halpern said.
Michaelson Jenet said this bill would improve access everywhere.
“This an opportunity to help get pharmacists out to rural Colorado in ways that we haven’t ever been able to before in automated dispensing machines,” Michaelson Jenet said.
The machines would only be placed in pharmacy-licensed locations and would be live-monitored to prevent theft.
For many, just like Halpern, this could be a game changer.
“In my particular case, it would’ve meant I could’ve gotten my prescription on Friday as it was prescribed,” Halpern said.
The bipartisan bill passed in the House last week. It now heads to the Senate for consideration.