Ala. order helps Ida evacuees get emergency prescription refills

Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 5:33 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - It’s heartbreaking to see what Louisiana evacuees are going through right now, but today, many of them who are staying in Alabama for the moment got some encouraging news. It came down in the form of an emergency proclamation from the governor’s office.

Angelique Russo has a good handle on things, considering what’s going on back home in Metairie, Louisiana.

“I try to keep up with everything but at the same not overload myself with it,” said Russo.

But her spirits were lifted after she learned the latest hurricane-related development. Gov. Kay Ivey issued an emergency proclamation favoring those who take prescribed medications.

“I think that’s wonderful, especially under the circumstances. We don’t know what our estimated time of going back home is,” Russo said.

The governor suspended the current law that allowed an emergency prescription refill for up to 72 hours. The order extends that time frame to 30 days. Keep in mind that restrictions remain in place on what pharmacists can’t prescribe, along with keeping detailed records.

“Say you were displaced by the hurricane and you came into my store and you just had an old bottle in your pocket that you went out of your house with in the hurricane. It’s your blood pressure medication. You can’t live without it, but you have none in this bottle. Well, your blood pressure’s going to go sky high. It’s not going to be a healthy issue at all. So under this proclamation, we can dispense a 30-day supply in that bottle you gave me and I’ll just write out an emergency order for you. So for 30 days you don’t have to worry about your blood pressure medication. You’ve got it on hand,” said Jones Drugs’ chief pharmacist, Penny Hamilton.

The extension does not include drugs such as oxycodone and fentanyl.

Russo says she was in good shape with her medications before she and her son arrived in Prattville but worried about her son. He would’ve taken his last pill this weekend. Not anymore. A godsend.

“Yes, it definitely is because I was worried about it,” said Russo.

Russo and her son will remain in Prattville until the middle of this month because they can’t go back home yet. But with this emergency proclamation, their current plight just got a little more bearable.

Hamilton says the new emergency prescription refill order does not add any more stress to her job despite dispensing thousands of pills per week.

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