TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation into law Monday that will allow patients using prescription eye drops to get early refills in order to prevent interruptions in therapy.
The law, A-3080 — and companion Senate bill S-2166 — requires insurance companies and health plans to cover early refill of prescription eye drops when 70% of a supply's days of use have passed. For example, a patient with a 30-day supply could obtain a refill after 21 days instead of having to wait for all 30 days. Supporters of the legislation said it was necessary due to the number of people who have difficulty properly administering prescription eye drops for chronic conditions such as glaucoma, which can result in patients missing their eyes or using too many drops.
"Many diseases of the eye are treated with chronic therapy through use of medications," New Jersey Academy of Ophthalmology president Cecily Lesko said. "Glaucoma is the most common. Left untreated, it is one of the leading causes of blindness. With this effort and outcome, proper treatment remains available to more patients who will benefit personally and directly through the treasured gift of sight."