George Huntley

George Huntley, who has Type 1 diabetes, shows the House Public Health Committee his insulin pump while discussing a bill that eliminates the need for a prescription to buy insulin.

INDIANAPOLIS — Insulin users would no longer need a prescription to buy the life-saving medication under a state Senate bill passed by a House committee Wednesday.

Sen. Ed Charbonneau, R-Valparaiso, authored a bill reversing a 2014 law that made a prescription necessary to purchase insulin, which is used primarily by diabetics. Charbonneau said the 2014 measure was spurred by fears of fraudulent medication.

“As a result of those concerns ... Indiana became the only state in the nation to require a prescription for all insulin drugs,” Charbonneau said. “Those concerns proved unjustified.”

Fishers native George Huntley, a volunteer with the American Diabetes Association, described an instance where a man lost his job and health insurance in Elkhart.

“He ran out of rapid-acting insulin on Monday; this was a Friday,” said Huntley, who has Type 1 diabetes. “I told him to hang up and go to Walmart to purchase insulin. ... I didn’t know that, at the time, you couldn’t do that in Indiana.”

A pharmacist at Walmart told the Elkhart man to drive over the border to Michigan to buy the insulin, Huntley said.

Senate Bill 255, which passed the Senate unanimously in January, received the same treatment Wednesday from the House Public Health Committee. It now must pass on the House floor and receive Gov. Eric Holcomb’s signature to become law.

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