Bill Aims to Protect Patient Access to Medication Information

April 3, 2023 by Dan McCue
Bill Aims to Protect Patient Access to Medication Information
Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine

WASHINGTON — A bill introduced by Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, aims to ensure that rural Americans and senior citizens have access to information about their prescription medications — even without internet access.

“Many rural Mainers and seniors don’t have reliable access to the internet or aren’t comfortable using it to get important information about their prescription medications,” Golden said as he explained the motivation behind the Patients’ Right to Know Their Medication Act of 2023.

“Our bipartisan bill requires information about medications to be printed, ensuring that every American who relies on a prescription has all the information they need to take it safely when they leave the pharmacy,” he continued, adding, “This commonsense bill also would support hundreds of good jobs in Madawaska and our state’s forest products industry.” 

Joining Golden in sponsoring the bill are Reps. Buddy Carter, R-Ga., Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., and Bruce Westerman, R-Ark. 

Pharmacies often provide printed medication information for patients; however, they are not required to do so under current law, the representatives said.

As a result, some patients never receive important information on the safety, dosage and other details of their prescriptions with important health consequences. 

Printed information is particularly important in rural areas where internet access is often unreliable and for senior populations who don’t regularly use computers. 

The introduction of this bill also marks another step in the fight to protect the hundreds of good-paying Maine jobs at the Twin Rivers Paper Company’s Madawaska Paper Mill. 

In 2021, Golden successfully worked to defeat an amendment backed by the pharmaceutical lobby that would have required prescription drug manufacturers to distribute information electronically rather than include a paper insert. 

Twin Rivers Paper in Madawaska is the leading manufacturer of the paper inserts and employs over 500 people.

The Patients’ Right to Know Their Medication Act has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and @DanMcCue

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