TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The Ohio House passed House Bill 101 Wednesday that will allow more affordable alternatives to the EpiPen in Ohio.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Derek Merrin, will allow pharmacists, with their patient's consent, to substitute the EpiPen prescribed by a doctor to a less expensive alternative.
"This bill will ensure patients receive epinephrine at the best available price and increase access to a life-saving medication," Rep. Merrin said.
Rep. Merrin's office says the bill could potentially save a patient as much as $500 for the medication.
"This legislation is a free-market solution to the exorbitant cost of epinephrine auto-injectors," Rep. Merrin said. "By easing access and government restrictions, consumers will have a better opportunity to obtain epinephrine auto-injectors at a lower cost."
The bill passed the House will bipartisan support. The bill is now in the hands of the Ohio Senate.
"House Bill 101 is an attempt to ease the pocketbook pressures of thousands of Ohioans caught in a web of an outdated system that insulates some pharmaceutical manufacturers from necessary market competition," said Antonio Ciaccia, Director of Government & Public Affairs for the Ohio Pharmacists Association. "It slashes the regulatory red tape that resulted in a broken distribution model, and gives patients and pharmacists better control of their health care."