Law changes after death from type 1 diabetes
Emergency insulin could have saved type 1 diabetic Kevin Houdeshell’s life. But, because his prescription had expired, his pharmacy couldn’t give him any.
Since Kevin’s death, his sister Amy Houdeshell and the rest of his family have campaigned tirelessly for greater access to emergency insulin. And they’ve been successful. In December, the government of Ohio unanimously passed a law that allows pharmacists to give a 30-day supply of emergency drugs – even if they’re expired – if those drugs are of life-saving importance.
“He was young, fit, healthy. The pharmacy told him his script had expired and we’re sorry, but we can’t give you anymore. He tried three times to call his doctor’s office and, four days later, he passed away from not having insulin.”
The Houdeshell family has teamed up with the Diabetes Partnership of Cleveland, which has an emergency insulin program. If Kevin had known about it, he may never have died. Since they started campaigning, the Houdeshells have raised almost $20,000 to fund the program.
Cheri Collier, a spokeswoman for the Diabetes Partnership of Cleveland, said: “I think of some people that we deal with every day at the Diabetes Partnership of Cleveland – people who need resources. People who need a hand.
“People can break a vial of insulin. They may have a change in their insurance status. They may have a high co-pay. So we want to be there to help.”
You can donate to the Diabetes Partnership of Cleveland here. Any donations made in Kevin Houdeshell’s name are used to directly fund the emergency insulin program.
“I never imagined we would reach so many people with that one little story about my brother,” said Amy.
“No one should have to die because of an expired prescription and can’t get hold of your doctor,” said Dan and Judy Houdeshell, Amy and Kevin’s parents.
Other states, including Florida, Pennsylvania and New York, are considering implementing a similar law.
“We refer to it as Kevin’s law,” said Dan Houdeshell.
The law has been signed, but it won’t go into effect for several months yet.
Image source: kgw.com.
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