People who need to regularly fill prescriptions may also be at the most risk for contracting COVID-19. Now two state lawmakers want to make it easier to get access to those drugs during the pandemic.
"The CDC says these are the Americans who are at the highest risk for complications from coronavirus," said Sen. Brad Holyman. "So we need to make sure that New Yorkers who are susceptible to COVID-19 visit a pharamcy as infrequently as possible."
Hoylman and Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas are backing legislation that would extend the 30-day limit for controlled substance prescriptions temporarily during the pandemic. Simotas says this bill is aimed primarily to help people who do not have the option of receiving their prescription drugs by mail.
"Right now you can't get a controlled substance mailed to your home or even delivered to your home from you local pharmacy that might have a relationship with you," Simotas said.
The bill would have safeguards to prevent abuse, leaving the final decision up to doctors.
"What the senator and I want to do is really give doctors the responsibility for deciding which one of their patients need this and could use it," Simotas said.
The measure would benefit people who receive medication for anxiety disorders, chronic pain, severe depression or seizures.
"We're in an extraordinary time and we need to think more nimbly about how medications are delivered to some of the most vulnerable New Yorkers," Hoylman said.
The bill comes as pharmacies in New York will be collection points for coronavirus testing.