Assemblymember Chris Holden’s Legislation to Regulate Automatic Refills Passes Assembly

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Sacramento, CA – Today, Assemblymember Chris Holden’s legislation, AB 2983, that would strengthen regulations around automatic refills for prescription medication passed the Assembly Floor.

“We need to put patients’ health first,” said Assemblymember Chris Holden. “The practice of automatic refills should be driven by what is best for the patient, not profitability for pharmacies.”

Holden’s legislation would prohibit pharmacies from both requesting more refills than a doctor prescribed, and from automatically contacting a prescriber to authorize a prescription refill for more than a 30-day supply unless the prescriber or patient have opted-in.

A January 31st New York Times article highlighted the dangers to automatic refill programs that are not well regulated. It described how the pressure to fulfill “corporate performance metrics” overwhelmed the staff and led to mistakes when dispensing medications. It also reported that one pharmacy, CVS, has been accused of routinely ignoring “doctors’ explicit instructions to dispense limited amounts of medication to mental health patients.”

“In our overburdened healthcare system, we should ensure that the business practices of one industry do not endanger the health of patients or add additional complications to the system as a whole,” said Holden.