Disaster Response Teams Help Evacuees Get Access to Medicine
Patients with thyroid disease like hypothyroidism require medication every day, without it they can develop severe and often time debilitating or life-threatening side effects. A common question most thyroid patients ask is “How would I get my medication during a disaster?” Depending on the emergency, many pharmacies may either be closed or affected by the situation. However, there is no need to worry as there are special centers that offer prescriptions like the Red Cross. State laws also regulate how refills are to be filled. For instance, in Florida a pharmacist is allowed to dispense a one-time refill that will last for 72 hours even before obtaining authorization, while other state laws allow pharmacies to make medically necessary exceptions. In North and South Carolina pharmacies can provide a full 30-day prescription without a doctor’s prescription.
Furthermore, it is easy to transfer your thyroid prescriptions to a safe zone (areas that are not affected by the disaster) drug stores like Walgreens or CVS allow the transfers online. You can even ask your doctor in advance to provide you with a written prescription in case electronic scripts cannot be obtained. Websites like www.RxOpen.org maps out locations that have functioning and nonfunctioning pharmacies. The site also contains Red Cross centers, and charity Direct Relief centers (www.directreflief.org) in affected communities and most of these shelters offer refills for thyroid patients.
Some if not all these centers or places to get refills still require you to provide them with information like:
* Contact information
* Doctors contact information
* Prescription details or medication bottle
* And, if you’re unsure contact your insurance for more details**
It’s important to remember to try and have at least two weeks of medication on hand in the event of an emergency, but if you don’t and you have to evacuate without it there is a way to obtain a new prescription. Also, in the event of heavy rains for flooding, keep your medication in a plastic baggy, if your medication was exposed to flood or contaminated tap water do not take it as it may have been contaminated. However, keep the bottle to show to a pharmacy. If you’re not sure what you can do to obtain medication in your state, you can look up the provisions your state has in place for you or you can contact your insurance company or local pharmacy for more details. All insurance companies have additional initiatives in place in case of emergencies.
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