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3/2/2016 Rep. Shekarchi’s off-label prescription drug legislation heard in committee
STATE HOUSE – House Committee on Labor Chairman K. Joseph Shekarchi had two pieces of legislation concerning the use of off-label prescription drugs that were heard before the House Committee on Corporations this week.

“This legislation is vital to Rhode Islanders who are seeking nothing more than an effective treatment for their health.  It is wrong to deny someone medicine that works if the medicine was not initially developed to treat certain diseases and conditions,” said Representative Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick).  “Breakthroughs and new discoveries happen constantly within the prescription drug field and it is important we do not let sick people suffer by denying them effective medication because the labeling and directed uses of a certain drug are not up to date with the current medical data.”

The first piece of legislation (2016-H 7471) would require insurance coverage for off-label prescription drugs when there is evidence in peer-reviewed medical literature to support their use in certain medical situations.  The second piece of legislation (2016-H 7512) would require a health insurer with prescription drug benefits to provide prescription coverage for disabling or life-threatening chronic diseases even if not approved by the FDA for that condition as long as its use is supported in medical literature for that condition.

Both pieces of legislation were held for further study.

For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903