Governor Extends Access to Prescriptions, Suspension of Evictions

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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently signed several executive orders that extended previous orders to give pharmacists broader capacity to fill prescriptions and suspend evictions for state residents.

She also signed an additional extension on enhanced restrictions for price gouging.

Prescriptions

On April 21,  Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-56 to allow pharmacists to dispense emergency refills of prescriptions for up to a 60-day supply for patients and require insurers to cover early refills for up to a 90-day supply during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The order also allows pharmacists to dispense COVID-19 treatments according to government-approved protocols. 

The extension is valid until 11:59 p.m. May 19.

“Allowing Michiganders to have access to the prescriptions they need is essential during this crisis,” Whitmer said in a new release. “By authorizing pharmacists to refill up to 60 days of medication for their patients, people can reduce their time traveling and stay home and stay safe to slow the spread of COVID-19.”  

The executive order only applies to noncontrolled substances. Pharmacists also will have the discretion to substitute therapeutically equivalent medications without prescriber approval if there are critical shortages. 

Evictions

On April 17, Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-54 to extend her previous order to suspend evictions. The order continues to allow tenants and mobile home residents to remain in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic even if they are unable to stay current on their rent.  

“Right now the most effective tool we have to fight this virus is to stay home and slow the spread through person-to-person contact. That is why it is important to extend my executive order to suspend evictions so people can focus on staying home and staying safe,” said  Whitmer.

The order continues through May 15 and prohibits entering premises for the purpose of evicting a resident. In addition, it prohibits a landlord from demanding possession of premises for nonpayment. It also authorizes the Michigan Supreme Court to stay eviction-related proceedings until after the COVID-19 crisis. 

Price Gouging

To ensure front-line workers and Michiganders have access to all necessary products during the COVID-19 pandemic, Executive Order 2020-53 extends the restrictions on excessive pricing of goods, materials, emergency supplies and consumer food items.  

“By continuing to enforce restrictions on price gouging, we can protect consumers and ensure more Michigan families can protect themselves from the spread of COVID-19,” Whitmer said in a news release.

As was the case under the previous order, the extension prohibits a person from selling any product at a price that’s more than 20% higher than what they paid for it as of March 9, unless it is not an emergency supply and costs more than $1,000. The only exceptions to the order are if they can prove that the price increase is attributable to an increase in cost of bringing the product to market or an extraordinary discount was in effect as of March 9.  

 The price-gouging extension also runs through May 15.

 

 

 

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