Pérez Prescription Access bill Advances to Senate Floor

Sacramento, California - The office of Assemblymember V. Manuel Pérez reports that his prescription access bill AB 2603 passed today in Senate Public Safety Committee on a unanimous, bipartisan vote of 6-0.  It now heads to the Senate Floor.

“The intent of the bill is to protect access to prescription medicines, while recognizing that some people need assistance with picking them up and transporting them,” said Pérez. “This is especially relevant for people who live in rural and medically underserved areas, where it is not uncommon for a person to rely on a family member or friend to pick-up his/her prescription drugs.”

The need for this bill surfaced as a result of a recent court ruling by the California Court of Appeals in the case of People V. Carboni.  It is commonly assumed that the law permits a designated representative – such as a family member or caregiver – to assist a prescription holder by picking up a valid prescription on his/her behalf.  Yet in the Carboni case, the court ruled that current law is unclear on the legality of this activity and that the Legislature must remedy the issue by clarifying state law.

Specifically, AB 2603 clarifies the California Health & Safety code to allow for the possession and transportation of a prescription medication by a person authorized by, and for the purpose of assisting, the prescription holder. This will ensure that individuals seeking to help a family member or friend do not inadvertently break the law when they pick up a prescription for them.

The bill is sponsored by California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, and its supporters include Congress of California Seniors, California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, and the Drug Policy Institute.

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